Communication is not:
- Symbol gathering
- Technology gathering
- Using someone else’s vocabulary
- Identifying symbols
- Matching symbols to objects
- Pushing a button or switch
- Using symbols to express wants, needs, medical information, feelings, to socialize and express humor.
- Using AAC to meet basic wants and needs.
- Using AAC to functionally communicate for independence.
- Was the augmentative and alternative communication assessment completed by a team? Team assessment is essential for:
- Getting support people on the same page regarding training objectives and goals
- Ensuring constructive feedback is given for appropriate future modifications
- Have the communication partners been trained as needed to help facilitate the individual’s communication skills? Is follow-up training needed?
- Has the responsibility of programming the device been designated to the individual or specific communication partners? Is follow through evident?
- Does the communication system need re-evaluation or revising?
- Has training been provided to the individual to teach abstract symbols if needed? Concrete symbols are easier to learn, but the more abstract symbols may need to be taught.
- Have you recorded some phrases and sentences when you could have used single words?
- Remember: single words facilitate generative language, syntax, and literacy!
- How do you know when the best AAC symbol system has been selected?
- The individual is able to meet functional communication goals.
- The individual can communicate basic wants and needs.
What are major goals to achieve?
- Functional communication
- Literacy (ultimate goal for independence)