AAC All Day, Every Day
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AAC All Day, Every Day

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Handout for a workshop presented for SPOT on DD in August 2011. Video files have been removed for privacy reasons. ...

Handout for a workshop presented for SPOT on DD in August 2011. Video files have been removed for privacy reasons.

Further resources and links

AAC Myths and Legends

Romski, M.A. & Sevcik, R.A. (2005). Augmentative communication and early intervention: Myths and realities. Infants & Young Children, 18:3, 174-185
YAACK http://aac.unl.edu/yaack/
DynaVox Implementation Toolkit http://www.dynavoxtech.com/implementation-toolkit/learning-paths/list/?id=7
Communicative Competence

Light, J. Toward a Definition of Communicative Competence for Individuals using Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems,(1989). Augmentative and Alternative Communication,5, 137-144
Aided Language Displays

ComTEC Information Sheet on Aided Language Displays
Communication Displays for Engineered Adolescent Environments from Pamela Elder and Carol Goossens’
Boardmaker Share
CHAT-Now

CHAT-Now (manual and CD)
Pragmatics

Dewart and Summers Pragmatics Profile
PODD

Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Displays (PODD)
PODD Communication Books: Direct Access Templates
Videos of Callaghan using PODD (from YouTube)
Core Vocabulary

Core Vocabulary list from University of Lincoln Nebraska
WordPower video (from YouTube)
Pixon
Core Vocabulary board to supplement ALDs from Disability Services Commission, WA
The Language Stealers video (from YouTube)
Communication Technology

Range of speech generating devices from Spectronics
DynaVox Devices
DynaVox Vmax with EyeMax
iPad/iPod touch Apps for AAC list
AAC Apps – Speaking Appropriately
AAC RERC White Paper: Mobile Devices and Communication Apps
Small Talk

SmallTalk for Children and Adults
Sequenced Social Scripts
One Voice video (from YouTube)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5ZlUnU8Oeo

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AAC All Day, Every Day AAC All Day, Every Day Presentation Transcript

  • AAC, All Day, Every Day
  • Jane Farrall
    Speech Pathologist
    AAC Support Services Manager
    jane@spectronics.com.au
    Twitter: @janefarrall
  • What is AAC?
    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): An area of specialised clinical and educational practice that provides communication options and interventions for people with complex communication needs. The term augmentative in this context means supplemental or additional to speech. Augmentative techniques (e.g. gestures, and facial expressions) are commonly used when communicating and interacting with others.
    The use of the term alternative acknowledges that there are some individuals whose speech is sufficiently impaired that they must rely completely on standard and special augmentative techniques, which do not augment speech but are alternatives to speech (Vanderheiden & Yoder, 1996).
    (Speech Pathology Australia AAC Position Paper 2004)
  • AAC System
    AAC system: An integrated group of components, including the symbols, aids, strategies and techniques used by individuals to enhance communication. The system serves to supplement any gestural, spoken, and/or written communication abilities
    (American Speech and Hearing Association, 1991).
  • Unaided and Aided AAC
    Unaided AAC: All techniques that do not require any physical aids (e.g. gesture, sign, facial expression).
    Aided AAC: Techniques where some type of physical object or device is used (e.g. object symbols, communication boards, books, wallets). Aided AAC is often divided into high technology or low/light technology systems.
    (Speech Pathology Australia AAC Position Paper 2004)
  • AAC Myths and Legends
    Introducing AAC will stop someone from developing speech
    Low tech before High tech
    Has a little speech so doesn’t need AAC
    Too cognitively impaired for AAC
    AAC will fix all communication difficulties
    Too young for AAC
    Doesn’t need AAC as they can express basic needs
  • AAC Myths and Legends - Resources
    Romski, M.A. & Sevcik, R.A. (2005). Augmentative communication and early intervention: Myths and realities. Infants & Young Children, 18:3, 174-185.
    YAACK http://aac.unl.edu/yaack/
    DynaVox Implementation Toolkit http://www.dynavoxtech.com/implementation-toolkit/learning-paths/list/?id=7
  • Good Practice Approaches to AAC
    Aided Language Displays (ALDs)
    Engineering the Environment
    Chat Now
    PODD
    Core Vocabulary
  • Additional AAC options to support good practice
    Small Talk
    About Me Books
    Yes/No ++++
    Social Scripts
    Partner Focused Questions
    Storytelling
  • High Tech AAC
    Custom Speech Generating Devices
    Mainstream Technology
    iPod touch/iPad
    Android Phones/Tablets
    Laptops
  • Communicative Competence
    Light (1989)
    Linguistic Competence (mastery of the linguistic code)
    Operational Competence (access methods, on/off)
    Social Competence
    Strategic Competence (make the most of the vocab they have)
  • Aided Language Displays
    Prospective users must be provided with frequent examples of interactive, generative use to acquire any semblance of proficiency.
    No one would dispute the fact that it would be very difficult to become a fluent speaker of French, if your instructor seldom used French in your presence.
    Goossens’, Crain and Elder (1988); Goossens’ (1989)
  • Aided Language Displays
    Likewise, it is difficult for a nonspeaker to become a proficient AAC user if other people never model interactive use of their system during all aspects of the day.
  • Aided Language Displays
    Aided Language Displays are NOT choice making boards.
    Choice making boards supplement ALDs.
    E.g. in music time a choice board of songs is followed by boards for singing the songs.
  • It is critical for an individual to not only have symbols, but also to have experience with those symbols in a symbol rich environment / print rich environment. The typically developing child will have been exposed to oral language for approximately 4,380 waking hours by the time he begins speaking at about 18 months of age.
  • If someone is using a different symbol set and only has exposure to it two times a week, for 20-30 minutes each, it will take the alternate symbol user 84 years to have the same experience with his symbols that the typically developing child has with the spoken word in 18 months!!!
  • The typically developing child will demonstrate language competency around 9-12 years of age having been immersed in and practicing oral language for approximately 36,500 waking hours. For 9-12 years that child has been using and receiving corrective feedback while practicing with the spoken word.
  • At twice a week, 20-30 minutes each time, it will take the alternate symbol user 701 years to have the same experience
    Jane Korsten (2011) QIAT Listserv 4th April
  • Aided Language Displays
    If children are to gain proficiency in using their aided AAC systems, others must begin to use the children's AAC system to communicate with them.
  • Aided Language Displays
    By modelling how to use a display to initiate and maintain communication, you show a student how to initiate and maintain – not just respond!
  • Aided Language Display Design
  • Aided Language Display Design
  • Aided Language Display Design
    If you (as a person proficient in language) cannot use a communication system or display throughout an interaction then how can you provide Aided Language Stimulation?
    If you cannot use it, is it designed well?
  • www.boardmakershare.com
  • Engineering the Environment
    Displays must be stored in close proximity to where they are needed
    Displays must be stored in a way that helps with quick access and set-up
    E.g. in dress-up box, on back of bookshelf, on walls, in plastic bucket, inside game box, with props, in eye gaze arrangement
  • CHAT-Now
    Developed by Gayle Porter (Cerebral Palsy Education Centre) and Marnie Cameron (Communication Resource Centre)
    Children’s Aided Language Tools
    Consists of aided language displays for early childhood settings and general interactive board(s)
  • CHAT-Now – Book
  • CHAT-Now General Interactive
  • CHAT-Now
    A series of ALDs for different activities.
    Designed for early childhood but suits many special education settings
    Also includes a general interactive board for use throughout the whole day
  • Special School Project
    Approx 80% of students in school with CCN
    A few have individual systems – generally not being used
    Lots of visual supports in place – all staff carry key caddies and all classrooms use visual schedules, first then boards etc
    Commonly used AAC is all adult focused language
  • Key Caddies
  • Special School Project
    Baseline observations and videos end of 2010
    No spontaneous AAC use by students
  • Term 1 2011
    Every student establish yes/no
    Begin using CHAT-Now
    Introducing general interactive board
    Then aided language displays
  • Week 1
    Problem solve how to make general interactive display available in every situation
  • Week 2
    Model more and finished all week
  • Week 3
    Add I like this
  • Week 4
    Add I don’t like this
  • Week 5
    Use whole board
    Made up in Tap Speak Choice, AAC App
  • Weeks 6 - 10
    Consolidate use of whole board
    Ensure all students have yes/no
  • Special School Project
    Repeat observations and videos end of term one
    10 spontaneous uses of AAC by students observed
    Next term introducing ALDs for a range of activities
    Term 3 introducing multi-page generic displays
  • CHAT-Now
    General interactive multi-level
  • Yes/No
    Need to watch the number of yes/no questions we ask AAC users
    BUT
    Every AAC user needs to develop a good, clear Yes/No response
  • Pragmatics
    Pragmatics – social use of language
    Using language for different purposes, such as greeting, informing, demanding, promising, requesting
    Changing language according to the needs of the listener
    Following conversational rules
    www.asha.org
  • Pragmatics
    Need to ensure AAC users have access to and know how to use a range of pragmatic skills
    Dewart and Summers “Pragmatics Profile” (1998)
    http://wwwedit.wmin.ac.uk/psychology/pp/
  • PODD
    PODD is a way of organising whole word and symbol vocabulary in a communication book or speech generating device to provide immersion and modelling for learning. 
  • PODD
    The aim of a PODD is to provide vocabulary:
    for continuous communication all the time
    for a range of messages
    across a range of topics 
    in multiple environments.
  • PODD
    PODDs can have different formats, depending on the individual physical, sensoryand communication needs of the person who will use it.
  • PODD
    PODDs have been developed over the past 15 years by Gayle Porter, a speech pathologist with the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) in Victoria. Each PODD format has been shaped by the experiences of both children with Complex Communication Needs (CCN), and their communication partners.
  • Core Vocabulary
    Using common English words on an AAC display to enable a user to construct their own sentences.
    Approach used in lots of high tech systems but not used as much in low tech due to difficulty of arranging vocabulary for access.
  • Core Vocabulary
    CORE VOCA
    High frequency words
    Can be combined to get your message across in lots of different situations
    FRINGE VOCAB
    Low frequency words
    Only useful in one or two situations
    Often related to a specific topic
  • Core Vocabulary
  • Core Vocabulary
    WordPower 24 in TouchChat, AAC App
  • Pixon
    http://www.vantatenhove.com/showfolder.php?id=57
  • Core Vocab to supplement ALDS
    From the Disability Services Commission WA
    http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activity/969086/Core-Vocabulary-Display
  • Technology
  • High Tech and Light Tech
    Both are just tools
    Both need good vocabulary design and good modelling to ensure success
    High Tech can be less forgiving but can offer more access options
    Some students more motivated by high tech and some don’t like it!!
    Most people need both – for different situations
  • Speech Generating Devices
    STATIC DISPLAY
    DYNAMIC DISPLAY
  • Static Display
    May be more durable
    Generally cheaper
    Often run off AA or AAA batteries
    Overlay based - require Boardmaker or other tool
    Need to work out system for storing and changing overlays
    Need to ensure vocabulary is updated
    Harder to maintain in many ways
  • Dynamic Display
    May be more durable
    Usually rechargeable
    Tools for generating pages in device – and sometimes in free software too
    Can change vocabulary on the spot
    Can change pages and levels easily
    Generally offer a wider range of access options
  • Access Options
    For a user who need alternative access, SGDs can offer:
    Large range of access options
    Flexibility
    Complete control over device and other software
  • Scanning and Eye Gaze
  • High Tech Scanning
  • Low Tech Scanning and Eye Gaze
    • Add movie file here
  • Eye Gaze
  • Mainstream Mobile Devices for AAC
  • www.spectronicsinoz.com/article/iphoneipad-apps-for-aac
  • How do I choose?
    Are they worth the cost?
    What do they offer that traditional speech generating devices don’t?
    What don’t they offer that SGDs do?
  • Media, Stories, Opinion
    http://socialtimes.com/iphoneipad-app-helps-autistic-children-communicate_b10778
  • Media, Stories, Opinion
  • Media. Stories, Opinion
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/blog/resources/2011/04/aac-apps-speaking-appropriately/
  • Media, Stories, Opinion
    Apple iPad2 launch
  • Media Stories and Opinions
    http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/03/ipads-are-not-a-miracle-for-autism-geekdad-opinion/
  • Apps with Symbols/Pictures
  • Apps with Symbols and Text-to-speech
  • Apps with text only
  • Traditional SGDs
  • Research
    http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/index.php/pages/show/id/46
  • Accessories
  • Access
  • Other mobile devices
  • Resources
    www.spectronicsinoz.com/blog/apple
    http://a4cwsn.com/
    iTeach Special Education – iDevices in Special Education (Facebook group)
    Assistive Technology (Facebook Group)
  • Expertise
  • Case Study
  • Additional AAC options to support good practice
    Yes/No ++++
    Small Talk
    About Me Books
    Storytelling
    Social Scripts
    Partner Focused Questions
    Introducing yourself
    Taking non-obligatory turns
  • Social Communication
    Social communication is a BIG part of our day.
    We use different forms of social communication – small talk, storytelling, greetings, wrap ups and farewells.
  • Social Communication
    Social communication is more than 50% of our daily conversation.
    Light (1998) found that reasons for communication between adults were (in ranked order)
    Social closeness
    Social etiquette
    Information transfer
    Wants and Needs
  • Small Talk
    A type of conversational exchange used for initiating and maintaining conversational interaction.
    Some conversation never progresses beyond small talk e.g. at a cocktail party.
  • Small Talk
    Small talk is used as a transition between the greeting and information sharing stage, especially when people don’t know each other well or don’t possess a lot of shared information.
    Small talk is often the first step towards social closeness.
    A quick check at Amazon showed 16 books aimed at helping people improve their small talk skills. Including “How to get people to like you in 90 seconds”.
    There are even websites to teach you how to small talk! e.g. www.ehow.com, www.englishclub.com, www.ivillage.co.uk and many more!
  • AAC Users and Small Talk
    Many AAC users use little or no small talk
    This can be because
    They don’t have access to small talk in their communication system
    They don’t see the need for it
    They think it is a waste of time.
    Light and Binger (1998) found that AAC users were seen as more intelligent, valued and competent communication partners if they used small talk.
  • Generic Small Talk
    Generic small talk is small talk that people can use with a variety of different conversational partners because it doesn’t refer to specific shared information.
    Particularly effective for many AAC users as it has many different uses.
  • Generic Small Talk
    Several groups of researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln looked at the frequency and types of generic small talk used by speakers of various ages without disabilities.
    3 – 5 year olds - 48% of all utterances at both home and pre-school/school were generic small talk
    20 – 30 year olds - 39% of all utterances were generic small talk
    65 – 74 year olds – 31% of all utterances were generic small talk
    75 – 85 year olds – 26% of all utterances were generic small talk
  • Generic Small Talk
    Most of the age groups used continuers as the most common form of small talk.
    Really? Yeah? Great! Cool!
    Go to aac.unl.edu for more detailed information.
  • Differences in Small Talk Vocabulary
    The small talk vocabulary lists showed that some words were used more frequently than others e.g. OK
    Some words were common across all age groups e.g. great
    Some words were specific to certain age groups e.g. “bummer” was used by the 25 – 35 year age group but not by the others.
    Small talk also differs based on your friendship groups, your geographical location, your interests and life experiences.
  • Small Talk and Mealtimes
    Balandin and Iacono (2000) found that it was nearly impossible to script the content-specific vocabulary needed for mealtimes for an adult in the workplace (although there was a good chance on Mondays and Fridays that footie would be the topic during the footie season).
    In this situation, the only predictable thing was small talk.
  • Pre-school Generic Small Talk
  • Adult Generic Small Talk
  • George’s Small Talk
    21 year old male with athetoid cerebral palsy
    Attends a day centre for young adults
    Uses a Dynavox3100 but only uses the spelling page
    Controls communication device with a head switch
  • George’s Small Talk
    Over 20 other people with disabilities and 6 staff attended George’s centre, most of whom talked.
    George rarely used his device during the day.
    Staff requested a review of his device because he didn’t “ever” use it.
    George had previously had a setup with core vocabulary on his device but found it frustrating to find words he wanted when he could just spell them.
  • George’s Small Talk
    A speech pathology student observed him in two sessions. He “used” his device constantly but only spoke with it twice.
    George was accessing his device with a head switch and block/row/column scanning. She observed that by the time he had formulated a message the conversation had moved on and he erased and moved onto a new message.
    A two pronged approach was used. Firstly, a conversational topic was established before each group e.g. “What are your favourite films?”. This allowed George to compose messages in advance.
    A small talk page was programmed and George practiced using this in one-to-one and then small group conversation.
  • George’s Small Talk
    At the end of 8 weeks the same speech pathology student observed George in the same two sessions.
    George used his device 46 times. Five of these were topic setters, 41 were small talk continuers.
    Several other people in the centre commented spontaneously that “George was much cleverer than they thought” or that “They enjoyed talking to George much more”.
    And….he’s still using it!
  • Michael’s Small Talk
    14 year old with autistic spectrum disorder.
    Attends a mainstream school with a full-time integration aide.
    Michael has a DynavoxMiniMo but has recently developed quite a lot of speech, which is only understood by familiar people.
    Michael’s device has core vocabulary with lots of fringe vocabulary around his topics of particular interest e.g. SpongeBob Squarepants.
  • Michael’s Small Talk
    Michael has been very keen to interact with his peers. However, as his peers have got older verbal skills have become more important to these interactions.
    Michael will often walk up to a group and simply stand there. The other children do not try to include him in their conversations, nor does Michael try to join in.
    Some of the children Michael was friendly with in primary years will occasionally sit down and talk with him, but always on his terms. These occasions are decreasing in frequency.
  • Michael’s Small Talk
    Introduced Michael to Small Talk.
    Each of his favourite topic areas had a page built with partner directed questions and small talk continuers.
    His old friends are very impressed with this change in Michael. They are more likely to have a chat with him and will sometimes call other people over to take part in the conversation.
  • Sequenced Social Scripts
    Sequenced social scripts can really help a user to
    Get a 'feel' for the anatomy of a conversation
    Develop turntaking skills
    Learn to interact with a variety of partners.
  • What are Social Scripts?
    They support students in learning to claim, start, and maintain turns in a conversation.
    Much of the information in this section is taken from “Can We Chat? Co-Planned Sequenced Social Scripts: A Make It / Take It Book of Ideas and Adaptations”by Caroline Musselwhite and Linda Burkhart
    Also called Participation Scripts
  • What are Social Scripts?
    Social Scripts are interactions such as joke-telling, sharing life stories and general conversations.
    They help persons using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) move beyond wants and needs to using 'real' communication for conversational purposes.
    Often give developing communicators a sense of the power of communication.
  • Anatomy of a social script
    Attention getters
    Starters
    Maintainers, holders and interjections
    Turn transfers
    Closings
  • Communication Passports
    Template available from CALL Centre Scotland
    www.communicationpassports.org.uk
    iPhone App coming soon
    Also from SCOPE UK at http://www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/publications/scope-communication-passport
  • Communication Passports
    Useful for exchanging information about an AAC User between others
    Often not a tool used by the AAC user directly
  • This book is about me!My name is Mike
    Please read!
    This book will help you to get to know me and how I communicate.
  • Page Index
    All about me
    You need to know
    My Family
    My Friends
    Special people, special things
    Things I like to talk about
    How I communicate
    How I communicate (2)
    You can help me communicate
    Fun things I like to do
    Places I like going
    Things I don’t like
    I’m working on this...
    Help!
    Eating and Drinking
    What’s my eyesight like?
  • All About Me!
    CALL Centre page 1
  • You need to know...
    I have epileptic seizures. They don’t last for long, please just make me comfortable and let me have a snooze afterwards.
    2. I am allergic to penicillin
    CALL Centre page 2
  • CALL Centre page 3
    I love my FamilyI like to talk about them so you need to know who everybody is
    This is my Mum and Dad
    And my sister Larissa.
  • My Friends
    CALL Centre page 4
    This are my friends. John, Mike,
    Peter, Sally and Sue.
  • CALL Centre page 5
    Special People Special Things
    I love having a weighted blanket on my
    lap – it helps me concentrate.
  • You can help me to communicate
    Please DO
    give me plenty time
    Please DON’T
    ask me more than one question at a time
    CALL Centre page 9
  • Personal Storytelling
    As we get older the percentage of small talk decreases and the percentage of storytelling increases.
    Older adults, in particular, use stories to entertain, teach and establish social closeness with their peers.
    As individuals lose their spouses and move to retirement and care facilities the need to socially connect with individuals their own age becomes important and storytelling becomes a vehicle for this.
  • Personal Storytelling
    Schank (1990) discussed story formulation, refinement and storage in detail. He found a few different “types” of stories in common use:
    First person stories
    Second person stories
    Official stories
    Fantasy stories
    Marven et al (1994) found that for preschoolers, 9% of their communication at home and 11% at preschool involves fantasy of some sort.
  • AAC and Storytelling
    Storytelling with AAC systems has become practical and possible with improved technology.
    However, we must be careful that the stories are ones which the person would choose to tell.
    Storytelling is very personal and must be individualised.
  • John’s “chat” cards
    John is an 11 year old with autism spectrum disorder.
    John uses words (which are mostly intelligible to familiar people), signs and a multi-page communication book.
    John also has some challenging behaviour.
    Five years ago, John had challenging behaviour every night when he got home from school.
    His mum felt that this was due to his frustration over trying to tell her about his day.
    His team decided that “chat” cards about his day would help.
    They setup a process to write a sentence about each day.
  • John’s “chat” cards
  • John’s “chat” cards
  • John’s “chat” cards
  • John’s storytelling
    Many of John’s old chat cards are in a milk crate in his room.
    John began spontaneously using them with new people a couple of years ago.
    He selects a few cards and then brings them to the new person. They read them with him and if they show particular interest in one topic e.g. playing basketball he will go and get more things around this topic.
    He brings out fewer chat cards as people become more familiar with him and understand more of his speech.
  • Ted’s Storytelling
    Ted is a 78 year old who had a CVA when he was 72.
    Following the CVA he regained some spontaneous speech, mostly small talk. He can understand everything that is said and can read the paper and magazines. He cannot speak (apart from small talk) and he cannot write.
    Prior to the stroke he was president of his local RSL Club. His wife and his friends miss his storytelling.
    His wife was able to work with him and write out many of his stories. These have now been stored in a Macaw, with one of his friends doing the recording.
    He and his wife are delighted as he is once again able to tell stories and delight his family and friends.
  • Personal Photo Stories
    A series of photos about a person to give the “listener” a sense of who the person is
    Can be used to let them have a “conversation” with their “listener”
  • Sarah’s Storytelling
    Sarah is a woman in her sixties who lives in her own house.
    In her forties she was in a motor vehicle accident and is now a quadriplegic.
    She has a good understanding of spoken English but very limited expressive communication, including very little facial expression.
    She has control of a single switch with her left thumb, but tends to fatigue quickly, although her stamina is increasing.
    She has a multi-level communication book which she accesses with eye pointing.
  • Sarah’s Storytelling
    She has a range of in-house care staff who tend to stay around for between 5 months and 3 years.
    Many of these staff assume she doesn’t understand what is said to her because she doesn’t give body language feedback.
  • Sarah’s Chat Book
    Inside this book are some of my photos. The writing tells you about them. The questions are things I am interested in about you. Please read out the writing and the questions and we can find out about each other together - but be warned - it might take more than one visit!
    Sarah
  • Sarah’s Chat Book
    Sarah’s chat book has completely changed the way staff see her.
    Each new staff member sits down and goes through the book with her over a few different sessions.
    They realise how interested Sarah is in them and they gossip with her more.
    It also gives them topics to talk about that they think will interest her.
  • Maggie’s Storytelling
    A series of photos about a person to give the “listener” a sense of who the person is
    Can be used to let them have a “conversation” with their “listener”
  • http://sheldonhickey.com/maggie/All%20about%20me/index.html
  • Just how important is social communication?
    In Building Communicative Competence with individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication Light and Binger (1998) looked at just three different social communication skills.
    1. Use of an introductory strategy when meeting new people
    2. Use of nonobligatory turns to increase participation in social interactions
    3. Use of partner-focused questions to demonstrate an interest in the partner.
  • Use of an introductory strategy when meeting new people
    Teaching a 35 year old with a closed head injury to use an introductory strategy to explain his use of AAC and his communication resulted in much more positive interactions with unfamiliar people, with fewer breakdowns and made the new partners more at ease.
    Teaching a 44 year old with cerebral palsy to use an introductory strategy allowed her to be more confident and assertive with new people. Twenty adults with no previous experience of AAC viewed tapes of Maureen meeting new people pre and post. 100% of them reported she was a more competent communicator when she used an introductory strategy.
  • Use of nonobligatory turn taking
    Teaching a young (4½ year old) child with cerebral palsy to use non-obligatory turn taking via AAC meant that the child was initiating more frequently and was more eager to participate in group activities. One of her peers said she was more fun to play with. Her speech improved and she acquired 30 new words.
    Teaching a 14 year old with autism to take non-obligatory turns also resulted in a increase in initiating and turn taking. There was a decrease in his inappropriate behaviours and he was less disruptive in class. 20 adults who were not familiar with AAC rated his pre and post videotapes and rated him as a much more competent communicator in the post tapes (although they didn’t know which were pre or post).
  • Use of partner focused questions
    Teaching a 13 year old child with developmental disability to use partner focused questions produced a change in the focus of his interactions. His partners began to see his communication as more appropriate.
    Teaching a 24 year old with athetoid cerebral palsy to use partner focused questions meant that he became a more valued communication partner with those he regularly communicated with.
  • So how do I decide what’s important in an AAC system?
    Beukelman (2004) wrote that “vocabulary selection in AAC can be viewed as the process of choosing a small list of words or items from a pool of all possibilities”
  • Choosing vocabulary for pre-literate individuals
    For people who are pre-literate those designing an AAC system face a hard task. Generally we consider there are two forms of vocabulary for this group – vocabulary that is needed to communicate essential messages and vocabulary to develop language (which includes small talk and narratives).
    Many people like to make this decision around core vocabulary ie words and messages which are commonly used and occur frequently. Small talk vocabulary fits well within these criteria.
  • Choosing vocabulary for non-literate individuals
    Aim to meet their daily, ongoing communication needs in a variety of environments.
  • Choosing vocabulary for literate individuals
    For literate individuals, they may need some phrases or words which need to be pre-stored for quick access either so they can participate in the conversation in a timely way or so they can reduce fatigue.
  • What do we know about aided AAC use?
  • Many people who use AAC
    (Kraat, 1985; Light, 1989; Muller and Soto, 2002)
    Play a passive role
    Rarely initiate interaction
    Express a limited number of speech acts
    Use restricted linguistic forms
    Limited opportunities to interact with other people
  • Communication board use is frequently less than one might expect.
  • When the communication board is used, it is often used primarily to provide information requested by the facilitator.
  • The range of communicative functions produced is typically restricted.
  • Functionally non-speaking partners tend to assume a respondent role using primarily yes/no answers and other short provisions of information.
  • Patterns of turntaking, initiation and conversational control tend to be asymmetrical in nature ie the speaking partner dominates the conversational exchange.
  • Speaking partners are frequently observed a) to ask closed-ended questions and specific Wh-questions and b) to repeat and rephrase previous turns, often initiating topics without expecting a response from the child.
  • In the classroom setting, AAC users tend to communicate predominantly with the adults in the class, not their classmates.
  • AAC should be…
  • Used frequently, interactively and generatively to express a wide range of communicative intents;
  • Occurring during at least 80% of ongoing classroom programming (as speech or manual sign use is);
  • Being used to mediate communication with classmates as well as personnel (ie teachers, aides, therapists, clinicians);
  • Being designed and implemented in as time and cost effective a manner as possible.
  • What we know
    Communication displays and devices are often not used
    AAC users are typically responders not initiators
    Interaction patterns focus on “closed” questions such as “What do you want?”
    Conversational partners control interactions (turn taking is unequal)
    Peer interaction is minimal
    (Kraat, 1985)
  • Four main issues
    Lack of Modelling
    Lack of Access to Vocabulary
    Communicative Competence
    Passivity/Learned Helplessness
  • We know how to fix this...
    We just need to do it!
    And model, model, model