Should my child use their AAC at home and at school?
Education Advocate Lisa Carey puts it this way: “It’s important that AAC is not used to simply ‘test’ a child academically. It should be considered the child’s voice and be used in all areas of the day, not just academics. Most kids will not want to use the device if it is just used for testing.”
SLP Rachel Madel says, “If we make all of these goals super academic, we’re missing students because we’re not focusing on things they’re motivated by. The first step in communication and understanding the power of an AAC system is, ‘Wow, this is like this magic box that gets me whatever I want. I wanted to watch that YouTube video, and I got it. I wanted to listen to my favorite song on Spotify. I did it. I have the power to communicate what I need and what I want and what I’m thinking about on my own.’”
Keep in mind that if AAC is only used to focus on subjects that kids aren’t that motivated to communicate about, it can appear as if AAC is not working. When we teach kids that words have power and can help them change their environment, that sets the foundation for communicating about a wide variety of subjects.
To learn more about AAC and independent communication skills, check out this article.