Aided language stimulation


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Aided language stimulation

  1. 1. Aided Language Stimulation By Kate Ahern, M.S.Ed. Easter Seals Massachusetts
  2. 2. “From the moment a baby is born, they hear and respond to the spoken word. We bombard that infant with language for the first 12- 18 months of their lives. During that time, we do not expect that they will utter a single understandable word.”
  3. 3. Aided Language Stimulation Aided language stimulation (ALS) is a communication strategy, where a communication partner teaches symbol meaning and models language by combining his or her own verbal input with selection of vocabulary on the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system.
  4. 4. Linda Burkhart
  5. 5. “The average 18 month old child has been exposed to 4,380 hours of oral language at a rate of 8 hours/day from birth. A child who has a communication system and receives speech/language therapy two times per week for 20-30 minutes sessions will reach this same amount of language exposure in 84 years.” –Jane Korsten
  6. 6. Best Practice • ALS is best practice for all individuals learning to use all types of augmentative communication • ALS is research based with studies dating back to 1988 • ALS teaches communication on a speech device in the way that verbal children learn language. • ALS also teaches children how to think about language.
  7. 7. ALS Procedure • Gain student’s attention • Use AAC to model core language as you speak • If you get stuck verbally work through your reasoning as you look for language on the device
  8. 8. ALS Skills to Know • Using Non-Verbal Junctures – Non-verbal cue (facial expression, body language) by the adult that happens before language modeling – Serves to gain attention – Decreases verbal distraction – Sets the stage for what will happen next
  9. 9. ALS Skills to Know • Using light cues – Use a flashlight or laser pointer to point to symbols – Children with visual issues or developmentally below 8 months may have trouble with looking at what you are pointing to instead of your finger – Allows more physical space between you and the learner which is good for developing boundaries and projecting and image of competence to typical peers
  10. 10. ALS Skills to Know • Recasting – Recasts serve to add or correct information without obstructing the natural flow of communication. – Recasting is another form of modelling. – The adult modifies a learners utterance by adding new or different grammar (syntactic) or word meaning information (semantic) information. – Child says “more”, adult models one step ahead, “want more” or “I want more”
  11. 11. ALS Skills to Know • Rephrasing to Emphasize Core Words – Rephrase your questions/comments to the AAC user to allow them to answer with core words – Instead of “What landform is surrounded by water?” ask, “Where is the water around an island?” (answer could be “all around” or “everywhere”) or “What is around an island on all sides?” (answer would be “water”)
  12. 12. ALS Skills to Know • Visual Supports – Cheat Sheet • Road maps that show how to get to words on the device – “Smart Sticks” • Category symbols glued to sticks to be shown to cue where to find certain words – Reminder Bracelets • Category/word combinations to find vocabulary mounted to a bracelet • Be Creative with Visual Supports!