Please work through the topics below in the order they are provided, unless you feel confident that you know the subject.
Select individual arrows beside the topic heading or 'Open all'. This action will show one long page of content. The arrows and titles work like a toggle to open and close sections. When you have finished a topic you may find it easier if you close that section before you move onto the next one.
Understanding the needs of the children who are potential AAC users.
Involving families in the assessment and the intervention process and decisions
Anyone who connects with the child can be thought of as a Communication partner
Families, carers, friends and those who get to know the AAC user, as well as professionals are essential to the support that will be needed throughout the day to encourage use of AAC systems and any other forms of communication where
speech and language are delayed or a child is
'Family centred training' is an approach used in many countries in the field of special education and especially in AAC, but may be known under different names.
In recent years the role of families, siblings and parents has been emphasized in the planning process when making decisions for children with communication disorders. This is particularly important when using AAC to ensure successful outcomes.
Activity - Confidence in Developing partners
Imagine you are working with parents or carers of a child
and your are asked some questions about introducing AAC to encourage communication skills.
Evaluation of Skills
If you did not feel very confident when answering the three questions in
the quiz you are not alone. There are many more testing statements in the questionnaire designed by Amy Starble and colleagues on "Family-Centered Intervention and Satisfaction With AAC Device Training". However, when you are anxious about your skills reach out to your colleagues and remember it is the families and carers who will be your main supporters in
the AAC journey you are taking with a child at this stage. The freely available symbols used in the above exercise come from the Jellow symbol set and the one in this section is from the ARASAAC symbol set - both sets come with several languages and are linked on Global Symbols.
Activity - Understanding Needs
Can you remember when you last listened to a family’s concerns and
priorities, before designing appropriate activities and educational resources for a child using AAC or for one with special needs?
Think about using open ended questionsthat begin with “how” or “what” not “do” or “did” and ask for their ideas about strategies before making suggestions.
Check Points when Understanding the needs of the family
What are your goals or expectations for the AAC device that your child will receive?
What are their priorities for your child?
What experiences have they had with AAC in the past (good, bad, and ugly)?
What roles might each family member play in the AAC journey?
How do you think it will affect the relations between the family members?
How do you think it will affect the relationship with other members of the community or the ability to take your child outside to the community?
What is the best way for you to learn new AAC-related material?
What do you think the role of the professionals should be while working with you on the AAC device?
If AAC practice is reduced to short therapy sessions successful outcomes will be harder to achieve. There can be a tendency for limited transfer of skills from therapy to daily life and technology abandonment.
Services provided in the home allow children to focus on communication goals in the setting where they will have the opportunity to practice new skills (Rini 2002)
Family-centred clinical practice provides parents with the opportunity to be involved in all planning related to communication goals for their child.
Discuss with the family the time required to implement the AAC solution.
Provide the necessary support, training and information for the family to implement the solution.