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Home for the Holidays! AAC Strategies for Parents and Caregivers

Updated: 2 days ago

Happy holidays from the Forbes AAC team! Holiday season means time spent with family and friends. Here are some AAC strategies to incorporate at home during this holiday season!

Focus on implementation! Rebecca Eisenberg (2020) suggests reviewing key intervention strategies with parents and caregivers.

  • Communication functions - it's important that AAC users learn to use their AAC system to communicate a wide range of communicative functions. It's not just about requesting! Teaching the use of the AAC system for communicative functions such as protesting, questioning, commenting, or describing, can open up an AAC user to many new vocabulary words and language functions.

  • Modeling - this is how we use AAC to teach AAC! The communication partner, such as the parent or caregiver, provides spoken words along with AAC symbols during communication tasks (ASHA, n.d.). Check out this resource from Forbes AAC on modeling: Modeling for AAC

Review the Do's and Don'ts of AAC (Farrall & Niemeijer, 2015) here: Do's and Don'ts of AAC

Things to DO:

  • Do use the AAC system to talk to yourself and model for the AAC user

  • Do provide plenty of wait time

  • Do respect multimodal communication

  • Do provide access to AAC all day, every day

  • Do ask open-ended questions

Things NOT to do:

  • Don't say "now show me on your talker"

  • Don't demand a user demonstrate prerequisite skills

  • Don't expect an individual to know how to communicate using AAC without you modeling how

  • Don't limit access to a user's AAC system

As a clinician, it's important to answer both the asked and unasked questions (Zangari, 2001). It is common that parents and caregivers leave evaluation/treatment se