I’m Not A Model, But I Model Language: Creating Communication Opportunities for AAC Users at Home

Clinical Expertise

by Joanna Yeakel, M.S.CCC-SLP | May 9, 2020

This blog post was written by one of our outpatient clinicians. All Brooks outpatient locations are currently open and we are also accepting telehealth appointments. Please call our Central Intake Unit at (904) 345-7277 (option 3) to schedule your telehealth visit.

What is AAC?
AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and we all use it every day! Common forms of AAC include gestures, symbols and written language. Some people with speech and language difficulties use other forms of aided communication such as picture boards or high-tech speech generating devices. It is important for children with speech and language difficulties to learn to use their communication system in all environments.

Did You Know?
We don’t expect a child to use a word independently until they have seen it modeled 50-150 times. You are fulfilling a very important role in your child’s language development by modeling words during play with no pressure!

Our home lives may be much busier these days, but two things need to remain consistent for successful AAC use.

  1. Your child needs easy access to their AAC system(s).
  2. They need to see family members using their AAC systems at home, also known as “modeling.”

Model language by saying the word while you point to the word on a communication board, exchanging a picture/symbol, or selecting the icon on the child’s device.

  • Make a simple recipe together! This creates opportunities to model core verbs (“make, put, more, get, eat, drink”)
  • Gather various sensory items and model words to comment or give an opinion (“I like / not like”)
  • Read a book- model question words before you turn the page (“where? who? what next?”)
  • Make a simple puppet and model using core words to direct the puppet’s action (“stop, go, give”) or talk about the puppet’s feelings
  • Play a game with siblings to model pronouns with turn-taking (“my, your, me, you”)
  • Play hide-and-seek or I Spy and model word “see”

If your child does not currently have a functional communication system, all you need is an order for a speech/language evaluation. Brooks Rehabilitation has speech-language pathologists that specialize in AAC. For more information, please contact (904) 345-7277.

Translate »