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.
The Steps to Communication (text doc) are really just a few of the methods that can be used to encourage potential AAC
users to interact with the systems we may introduce. In this activity try to sequence the steps from memory.
There really is no strict order, but by moving the ARASAAC and TAWASOL symbols into their correct places you will get a glimpse of what is involved in one small part of the AAC journey.
Use the resume button when you check your order and find you have mistakes! The correct symbols will stay in place and you get as many chances as you need to complete the activity. Use the retrybutton if you want to do it
all over again!
If you are using a keyboard - Tab into the activity. Use the cursor keys to navigate through the list items, use the spacebar to activate or deactivate an item and the cursor keys to move it.
The Ten Steps to Communication are explained in greater detail in the slides provided in the Presentation section at the end of this topic
as we come to the end of Level 1 and review all we have learnt. At this stage we have been providing an overview of what is involved when we introduce alternative methods to support communication.
Let's pause again and just think about the conversations and interactions between a very young child and a communication partner. The amount of repetition, gesture and facial expressions. In English there are also games we play such as 'peek-a-boo'
games, 'bye-bye' games, simple shared activities when reading books, singing songs and imaginative play with building blocks or playing with sand. water and toys like cars or dolls.
For those children using AAC it is even more important to allow time for turn taking, intentional reactions and generative language.
The problem for the AAC user is that not everyone uses their language system, so they repeatedly need to see the way it should be used in many different situations. Daily routines are an ideal time and the involvement of the extended family and
all the AAC user's friends are very important.
The typical young child develops speech and language at their own pace, being able to practise sounds and words with those around them.
By two years the child tends to use simple phrases such as 'more milk' and to ask simple questions such as 'all gone?' At this age they can also follow simple commands and understand much more than the 50 plus words they can say. Those
around them can undertand what is being said.
By three years the number of words builds rapildy to around 1000, with two or three word phrases, the use of pronouns and much demanding of attention with repetition and total engagement.
Advantages of Modelling
Research has shown that modelling speeds the learning process and can be very motivating when used in all communication settings., It also helps the communication partner to slow down and the process is a collaborative effort when learning where
symbols are to be found and how the AAC system works. The process is also multi modal as it can be visual and with touch, it is not just about hearing the word being said.
It is always important to aim just that bit higher,
to encourage progress from one word to combinations, whilst the communication partner is providing the complete phrase or sentence. Remember the next stage of language development and practise these phrases, not just ‘ball’ but perhaps ‘play ball’
or Do you ‘want the ball’? I want the ball etc.
Mistakes can happen but this gives both the AAC user and yourself a chance to sort out the problem as you wold in a spoken language situation. Find a new word / symbol, think aloud as you delete one word or add another that is needed to complete the conversation. You will learn more about modelling as we go through the levels.