AAC: How Much Is Too Much?
Welcome back to Let’s Talk About It, the place where we’re answering questions about augmentative communication. The question for today is how much is too much when it comes to planned activities to introduce augmentative communication? How much is too much in those cases?
Part of the challenge for me as a speech language pathologist is planning to sit down and do an augmentative communication activity means that I need to have an activity in mind, I need to be intentional about having the materials and sitting down and making the time to do that. For parents that is oftentimes just one more thing to do.
So if we start with the idea of “what are you already doing?”, then we can augment–we can add picture symbols to–what you’re already engaged in.
“So it’s time for us to read our story and then we’ll get ready for bed.”
“Let’s go ahead and choose the storybook. We have some stories that we have read before and that I know you really like, and I have some new storybooks.”
“It is almost the end of the school year, and so I got us a book about summer and summer activities.”
When we think about how are we helping families to be able to immerse their symbol speaker in their symbols, we can have some planned activities, but remember that those planned activities need to be planned–and they add some stress to the families in figuring out when are they going to prepare for that and sit down and do that. The other way to approach it is to augment with activities that are already going on.
“I hear the dog barking. I think he wants to go out for a walk. Come on, let’s go get him and take him outside for a walk.”
So even when life happens and you’ve got just typical life activities, Symbol-It provides you with a quick and easy way to augment for those incidental activities. You can also use it to augment for those planned activities as well, but the main thing is to speak in symbols whenever possible so that your developing symbol speaker can see and hear what it is that you have to say.