Communication is essential to participation in life, including meaningful social, learning and vocational activities across one’s lifespan. AAC tools and strategies can play an important role in enabling individuals with limited or no speech to live independent, dignified lives, and commensurate with their abilities and desires (SAC position paper: The Role of Speech-Language Pathologists with Respect to AAC). Supporting students with AAC needs varies from low tech/no tech such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), tech talk/static display devices, and single message switches to high tech devices such as Voice output communication devices (iPads with TouchChat/LAMP/Proloquo2Go) and eye gaze communication systems.
Many of the general language activities listed in other sections of this website are also relevant to AAC users, it may just need to be adapted. Target vocabulary may be chosen based on the child’s interests and motivating items/activities. Core words may be taught through the everyday routines and fun activities that are part of the child’s daily life.
To ensure AAC successful at home, it needs to be used as a common language within the family and household. MODEL, MODEL, MODEL is the motto. Make sure to be familiar with your child’s vocabulary and AAC system regardless if it is high tech or low tech.
The following are some tips and resources to consider for working with your child on their AAC system. Some resources may focus on a specific communication app, however, the theory and applications can be used with multiple AAC systems (e.g., teaching and using LAMP can also be applied to TouchChat).
The AAC Coach: a Facebook group run by a speech-language pathologist and AAC enthusiast. Once you join the group, you can download her many files, such as her Model Key Words Handout, Puzzles Modeling Handout, and Declarative Language Handout
North Vancouver School District AAC blog: The AAC SLP specialists of the North Vancouver School District has created a blog with some great AAC resources.
PrAACtical AAC blog: PrAACtical AAC supports a community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties.
Prentrom: PRC provides practical and clinically sound product training and AAC implementation classes. All of their classes are designed and taught by speech language pathologists, special educators and occupational therapists with extensive expertise in the field.
AAC Language Lab: The AAC Language Lab offers real-life solutions in support of language development. Explore language stages and interactive materials designed for Speech-Language Pathologists (S-LPs), educators and parents.
Assistiveware: Working closely with the AAC community, Assistiveware build apps and share best practices to help communicate with the world. This site contains lots of information about how to support communication with Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
SET BC: SET-BC is a BC Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program established to assist school districts in utilizing technology with students whose access to the curriculum is restricted.
Helping Everyone Find Their Voice: Wide variety of resources for familys, educators, and anyone supporting students using AAC