PrAACtical Thinking 10 Premises for Teaching Requests to Beginning Communicators

Published on January 9th, 2013 | by Robin Parker

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10 Premises for Teaching Requests to Beginning Communicators

mickey mouseRequesting is a communication skill that is often a fun goal to target because the end result should be ‘giving’ the learner what they want.  Here are some underlying premises when teaching requests:

  1. The learner LOVES or places IMPORTANCE on what they are requesting
  2. The facilitator may need to LOOK for & ACCEPT what the learner prefers
  3. MOTIVATION and INTEREST can be TAUGHT with frequent and varied practice in predictable routines
  4. Communication temptations give requesting more CLARITY for the learner
  5. Learners can request WITHOUT  being asked a question (in fact, it helps with spontaneity)
  6. Requests can be facilitated through CHOICE MAKING
  7. Requests and choices GO WAY BEYOND  food & objects
  8. The facilitator can MODEL requesting and choice making and then give the learner a turn
  9. There can be monthly, daily, hourly,  minute, or even second CHANGES in preferences, motivations, and interests
  10. Frequent OPPORTUNITIES for requests and choices are the key to TEACHING SPONTANEOUS communication

friends       Koosh Balls   piano      colors


Don’t worry, if  requests get over used (it is a good problem to have) because once that happens then you can vary how to honor the overused request (i.e.,visual limits – 3 breaks per day, 1 McDonald trip per day/week, etc), “sorry, no more”, “later”, etc.).

All done fries



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About the Author

Robin Parker

Robin Parker Robin Parker is a professor of speech language pathology who has loved supporting the communication and language of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders for more than 20 years. One of her professional passions is spreading the word about PrAACtical AAC. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much." Helen Keller

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