Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

When should I choose this 'Area of Focus' for my Gabadoo?

AAC, which stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, is a term used to describe various communication methods and tools designed to assist individuals who have difficulty with speech or language. AAC encompasses a wide range of techniques, strategies, and devices that aim to support and enhance communication for people. AAC plays a vital role in promoting inclusive communication and empowering individuals to express themselves, engage with others, and participate more fully in various aspects of life.

Parents may need support with using AAC with their child for a number of reasons:

Knowledge and Training: AAC systems and strategies can be complex, and parents may require guidance and training to effectively implement them with their child.

Individualisation: Each child is unique, and their communication needs may vary. Parents may need support in customising the AAC system to fit their child's specific abilities, preferences, and goals. They may require help in selecting appropriate vocabulary, symbols, or software, and adapting the system as their child's communication skills evolve.

Implementation and Modeling: Consistency and practice are crucial for successful AAC implementation. Parents may need support in integrating AAC into their daily routines and activities, such as mealtime, playtime, and social interactions. They may benefit from guidance on how to model AAC use, provide opportunities for their child to practice communication, and reinforce their child's efforts.

Parents may encounter challenges or barriers while using AAC with their child. It could be resistance from the child, difficulties in finding time for consistent practice, or struggles in troubleshooting technical issues with AAC devices.

Our Gabadoo Team are experienced at working with children and families to support the use of AAC. You can get individualised strategies and support today through our platform here. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Family Dynamics and Routines: Understanding family dynamics, daily routines, and typical communication contexts is important for effective AAC support. Sharing information about siblings, and other family members, as well as typical communication activities at home, helps the therapist provide recommendations and strategies that can be easily integrated into daily life.

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What type of activities do they enjoy?

What daily activities do they enjoy doing with a parent or family member? e.g. cooking, baking, jobs, walking the dog.

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Do they enjoy playing with other children?

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their communication or use of AAC? Or has your child ever had a medical review in relation to their language? If so, what was the outcome?

Make sure to include:

AAC History: If your child has used AAC systems or strategies in the past, you should provide details about their previous experiences. This includes information about the types of AAC systems used, the child's comfort and proficiency with those systems, and any challenges or successes encountered. This information helps the therapist assess what has worked previously and identify potential areas for improvement.

Current Communication Abilities: You should describe your child's current communication abilities, including their speech development, receptive language skills, expressive language skills, and any non-verbal communication methods they currently use. This helps the therapist assess the child's strengths and limitations and determine the most appropriate AAC options.

Goals and Expectations: It's very important that you articulate your goals and expectations for AAC intervention. What do you hope to achieve with AAC? Are they primarily focused on increasing expressive language, improving social interactions, or enhancing educational participation? Clear communication of goals helps the therapist align their strategies and interventions with your aspirations.

Next include videos of your child using their AAC device:

  • A variety of video-clips where your child is using their device. 
  • Video-clips of them engaging with you or another caregiver where you are demonstrated how you engage your child in using their AAC device. 

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be. Videos are vital when reviewing a child's communicaiton. 

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of AAC. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to support your child. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'


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