Getting started with AAC
The success of an AAC user’s communication is greatly influenced by how their communication partner interacts with and responds to them. There are many things you can do to become a good communication partner. Here is our top tips.
When a user start to use AAC they need help to get started. The best way you can help is by using the AAC solution yourself when you talk to the user. Talk about everyday things like what to have for dinner. You do not need to say everything you say also with the AAC solution but say some of the words with the AAC solution and let the user see what you are doing. This is called Modelling. You do not need to say every word in your sentence with the device.
Model as you explore vocabulary and correcting mistakes. If you use Snap + Core First you can use the Search feature when you are unable to find vocabulary.
We can express ourselfes in many ways, such as gestures, signs, and vocalizations. The AAC solution is just one way to express my voice. Encourage all ways of communication. Respond to all modes of communication and do not push for the AAC user to say something they have already expressed with the AAC solution, focus on helping them to express things that are hard to say in other ways with their AAC solution.
- Assuming Competence. Believe that the user can complete the challenges presented to them and if they say something that was their intention.
- Focus on use, not testing. Spend more time on practical use of the device within a context and less time on directly testing your learner’s proficiency at using the AAC solution.
- Wait patiently for responses. Do not rush your learner to respond. AAC is typically slower than traditional speech so it’s normal for it to take a minute to produce a message. Also, give your learner time to correct their own mistakes before intervening.
- Provide support when it is needed. Always support your learner and offer assistance when they are struggling.
- Address challenges and focus on positive results. Discuss the difficulty of challenges with your learner while still focusing on what the CAN do.
Communication progress and success comes in many forms such as:
- increased attention to interaction,
- initiation of communication,
- use of more vocabulary,
- longer interactions,
- use of more tools or pages,
- greater enjoyment of interactions and or
- independence in communication
These skills can help you become a better communication partner for your loved one. Improving upon your own skills can also help your partner to become a more independent and happy communicator.
This videos and a lot more you find in the free app Pathway for Core First that you can bring with you anytime.
Now you're hopefully up and running. For additional help, please visit our Support & Training pages. Just select your device or software and you will find videos, manuals, downloads, common questions, and tips & tricks showing you how to get the most from your device and software.
If you want to connect with others using the same AAC solution, join our social media communities to learn from others, share tips and get help.
You can also always feel free to contact our own or our resellers technical support team, depending on how you purchased your solution.
Finally, we always want to know how we can better help you, so please give us your feedback.