Please work through the topics below in the order they are provided, unless you feel confident that you know the subject.
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12-18 months First 50 Words - objects and relational words that indicate the context or activity 1-2 years Referential style - lots of single word naming mainly people, animals food - concrete rather than abstract concepts. has fun
with words - made up ones. Expressive style with whole phrases with prepositions and other core words appearing.
2-5 years nouns introduced verbally and used via AAC. Later two or more words used, but not necessarily with correct grammar or syntax (word adjacency versus word order).
2-3 years: Approximately 500 words - use sentences with three or more words with improved grammar and word order (syntax). Plays with language, songs, rhymes etc.
2-3 years Icons or symbols organised into semantic groups (by meaning) rather than by groups which have similarities. Referential style (single words used). Limited expressive communication strategies using core words /symbols with personlised
3-4 years Approximately 1000 words Answers simple questions. Uses sentences of five to six words often with the correct syntax, even if the grammar or pronunciation may not be totally correct.
3 years - onwards Dynamic (several layers of vocabulary on offer) versus Static (single layer) AAC devices considered with corresponding impact on vocabulary development. Word recognition and lingusitic skills. Knowledge
and evaluation of graphical symbol systems has an impact on language acquisiition
5 years Approximately 3000 words with longer sentences although some pronouns and relationals such as more or less big or little may still be muddled and not all family relationships are understood such as Aunt and Uncle. May start to
depend on the context of a word for understanding - cool person as opposed to being cool weather.
Activity - Getting started with Literacy - The importance of grammar
When exploring language and literacy knowledge (Murray and Smith, 2014) don't forget to evaluate receptive as well expressive skills. Think about the ability to match symbol meaning and language form (grammar) and content (semantics) to show you understand
what is happening in for example a composite picture.
We have discussed the use of Janice Light's (1989) communicative competencies and how they can be applied in an assessment setting. Tobii dynavox have applied them in a way that supports the planning of interventions. At this stage their
Dynamic AAC Goals Grid-2 (download DAGG 2 PDF) can be very helpful with 'Laura' as a Case study.
"Laura is 4 years old and just received her new communication system. She understands and follows general conversations. She is starting to use clear and simple symbols in motivating situations or favorite activities. In addition, she is beginning to
show more interest in social interactions which is one of the main reasons the school SLP suggested an evaluation for a high-tech communication device.
Below is her overall picture from working through the Ability Level Continuum.
When you have read her case study you might think about an activity such as picture sequencing to encourage understanding or little exercises where phrases are completed with one word answers such as a cup of .... or drink of... and watch for her
reactions the aim of increasing phrase length. Literacy skill goals need to be included in the planning for progression with activities that encourage letter sound correspondence.