Modeling AAC

During the 2019-2020 school year, my first year as a Speech-Language Pathologist, I spent a lot of time modeling language on AAC (augmentative-alternative communication). “Modeling means you point to words on the AAC tool as you speak,” according to https://www.assistiveware.com/learn-aac/start-modeling, which has a lot of great tips on modeling AAC.

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AAC Teaching Principles

AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) devices are becoming more and more prevalent in the lives of students with complex communication needs. Students who in the past would have had no way to communicate now have a device full of words that they can use to express themselves. The problem is that too often students are given these devices and not taught how to use them, leading to them getting left in backpacks, in desks and at home.  

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AAC Activity Ideas

I remember when I began working in classrooms for students with moderate-severe disabilities who had AAC devices and feeling completely overwhelmed. I didn’t know exactly how to model words for the students, nor was I confident about having whole group lessons in the classroom. Looking back, the more motivating the activity is that you bring with you, the easier it is to model communication for students and to get support staff (i.e., teachers, aides) involved to assist in promoting the communication skills of the students. So here are some of the activities I’ve done over the years that have been the most successful and engaging for staff and students!

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