As SLPs we often work with emergent communicators. How we model with them needs to be tailored to their specific needs. Below I share more about what an emergent communicator is and my best tips for using AAC modelling with them.
What is an Emergent Communicator
Emergent communicators can use the following modes of communication:
other non-symbolic modes of communication. For example: smiling, reaching for what they want, taking your hand to what they want. They make wants known indicated by reaching toward something, looking at it, and leg movements.
Introducing AAC to Emergent Communicators
My number one tip for introducing AAC to emergent communicators is to remember beginning communicators talk about what they want to talk about. Make sure what you are modelling is meaningful and hopefully fun to them.
Once you are communicating about something they are interested in, then it’s important to model without expectation. Invite don’t demand that they take part in the activity.
Being prepared as an SLP
As an SLP, it can feel intimidating navigating how to use a device and knowing what to do when using AAC. Particularly if it’s the first time you’ve worked with AAC or a particular device.
If this is you, then quickly get familiar with the device. Most devices are fairly straightforward to use once you’ve used them a few times. I’ve been sharing reviews of devices and apps on Instagram. You can find them in my Instagram feed.
I recommend knowing a few basics and starting with core words like in, put, finished, more, want, like, go. Choose an activity that happens everyday like snack time, circle time, lining up time. That way you’ll get lots of practice every day.
Remembering to keep it fun, simple, consistent and real.
Setting goals is a great way to help you do this. To help you set AAC goals, I’ve created the Ultimate AAC Goal Planning Blueprint which you can download for free here.
In this video I share 10 ideas for virtual AAC modeling. We are keeping it simple so that no one gets overwhelmed. We want to bring engagement, authentic communication and joy.
We are going to cover:
Using low tech AAC at home,
how to model during teletherapy,
ideas for parents, special educators and speech language pathologists.
This session was an early part of AAC in the Cloud 2020 in response to the changes with COVID19, school closures and teletherapy. FREE Access to resources and links mentioned are here for you at: bit.ly/aacathomeishere.
Thank you to Coughdrop AAC for facilitating this training.Pin
The Teachers Pay Teachers big Back To School sale is August 1 and 2nd. With 20% off, you don’t want to miss this! Plus you get an additional 8% off when you use the promo code BESTYEAREVER.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
It’s time to get strategic about your TPT therapy materials. What’s really going to help you this year and for the years to come? Let me help you find must have items for your SLP bag of tricks. Here are some great materials to get you started from my store. I have no doubt you’ll find yourself reaching for these year after year.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
” I love the organization/layout of this product. I know it will benefit many of my students! Thanks for including the Reading Comprehension stories – my teachers love that I integrate reading in speech all the time!” Buyer[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″][spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
“I am so excited about this book! I have several students who are working on positional concepts and it just takes so many repetitions to learn the concepts. I love that this book is full of repetitions. I am looking forward to more in the future!” Buyer[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
“While I haven’t started my job yet (countdown to my CF position!), I love this planner so far! It looks great, even with my black and white only printer. I love the extra documents (such as the Parent Communication Log).” Buyer[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″][spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
” So many of my younger students love anything that has do to with dinosaurs…and who doesn’t love tacos? 🙂 I love this book, but am even happier that such a thorough, applicable and fun speech therapy product was created for it! Thank you so much” Buyer[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
And here’s what’s in my cart, I personally know all of these sellers and am really excited to add more of their wonderful materials to my collection.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Do you feel like you are aimless or not at the top of you game when working on prepositions?[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I can totally relate. I work with a lot of special education students. I tried taking pictures of students under tables, in chairs, next to each other. They enjoyed the activity but it didn’t stick.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I tried having them take turns putting a fun toy on the chair or taking it off the chair. Again fun, but not getting the concept.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I tried it with matching puzzle pieces, with apps, and games. Still no lasting success.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Talk about feeling like a Bad Therapist.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
But I kept trying. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Then a combination of learning experiences came together. I noticed that teaching opposite prepositions didn’t work. I noticed that kids got distracted by little details in pictures. I went to an amazing presentation by Dr. Elena Plante, research SLP from University of Arizona and she talked about the importance of errorless learning and teaching one concept at a time.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I learned about fast-mapping. Fast mapping is the psychological term for learning a new concept after a single exposure to information.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Students with SLI and cognitive impairments are not able to fast-map like their typical peers. [spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
So….[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
I tried making a book with simple visuals and white background. This way the focus was only on the relationship of the objects to each other.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
There is a picture strip with words at the bottom of the page, always the same “Where is the _____”(object) The next page always has ______ (target preposition) the ___________ (relationship word).[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Object remains the same. For example in “The Under Book” the object is always a banana, it is always under something. Going through the book once gives 12-15 repetitions.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
The other important piece is that the skill needs to be taught in more than one setting. So with all of the prepositions books I offer examples for how to extend the new concept into different settings.
I’m still doing more investigating in this area but I can say, I’m having good results with these books. So are the people who have bought them.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
” I am so excited about this book! I have several students who are working on positional concepts and it just takes so many repetitions to learn the concepts. I love that this book is full of repetitions. I am looking forward to more in the future!” ~Buyer[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
Here is the new “Next To Book”. This completes the first three prepositional concepts that children with typical language development acquire at the age of 3: “on” and “under” and “next to”. I’ll be working on the next ones soon.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
While I was doing my research, I put together this handy little chart. This will be great as a parent/teacher handout and just to keep for your own reference. I’m giving it to you for FREE, just click here. As a Beautiful Speech Life follower, you are getting it early! I already gave it to my TPT followers, but if you missed it, here it is again. I’ll be putting it in my TPT store later. (It’s also included in The Next To Book)[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
December already! I am looking forward to the holiday break for some time off to spend with family and friends.[spacer height=”20px”]
It can be a hectic time at school and the kids attention spans are short because they are so excited. I created this high interest, visually fun FREEBIE activity just for these days. Click here. [spacer height=”20px”]
Laminate each of the four pages (perfect for group therapy) and grab some play dough (so cheap and fun, I think 4 containers are under $3 at Target). If I’m working with a group I roll the snowballs ahead of time.[spacer height=”20px”]
You can work on “her”. Child says “her mitten”, gets snowball and gets to smash it on the mitten. Or you can work on “she”. Child says “She has a mitten”, gets snowball and gets to smash it on the mitten. (Same for “his” and “he” for the snowman and boy snowbaby)[spacer height=”20px”]
The next level would be “She wants her hat” (using both forms of the feminine pronoun).
The males of course would be “He wants his hat”.[spacer height=”20px”]
The sheets can also be used for labeling winter vocabulary or for increasing MLU (I see a snowman).[spacer height=”20px”]
Play dough makes everything fun so your students will love this. You will too, enjoy![spacer height=”20px”]
If you are doing some planning and want to have some materials ready for when you return, my Winter Plurals will provide activities for two-three sessions. This is a fun way to teach plurals with an introductory flip book, practice game, and follow up flip book to support the skill. The Reading activities support connecting the skill from the vocabulary word level to the reading comprehension level. [spacer height=”20px”]
Whatever you are doing for the next couple of weeks, I hope you can enjoy the contagious excitement and joy of season.[spacer height=”20px”]
Hey there I’m Anne Page. I help heart centered SLPs and educators put the fun in functional communication.