Modeling, AAC Style

April 18, 2012 by - 5 Comments

Modeling, AAC Style
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This is a strategy that is too powerful to ignore. Here’s why Aided Language Input is at the top of our list of skills that all clinicians should master.

1. Helps children and adults learn their AAC faster: There is good research demonstrating how valuable this kind of modeling is for our AAC clients. See studies by Drs. Kathryn DragerCathy Binger and Janice LightJennifer Kent-WalshShakila Dada and Erna Alant for starters.


2. Helps the SLP get competent with the client’s AAC system: This is hands-down the quickest way for us to get familiar with our client’s AAC device.
3. It’s common sense:  Think about it: How many times does a typical 1-year old hear the word ‘more’ before she says it?? Don’t AAC kids need that much exposure to ‘their’ language systems??
4. Expands our sphere of influence: Other communication partners will imitate us. If WE use it, then parents and teachers are more likely to do it, too.
5. It’s motivating: It intrigues the client, making them want to use the device, too. My clients love to push me out of the way and show me how much better they can do it.
Lots of bang for your buck with this strategy. Give it a try. 
For more information on aided language input, check out our other posts and curated resources here.
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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Jane Farrall says:

    Thanks for this – and all your other posts on modeling. Lovely to have these great resources to refer people to.

    And I also like using an AAC system to figure out how well designed it is – if I can’t model with it then it needs some work. And how can we expect someone else to use it to communicate if we can’t?

    Thanks again!

    • Carole Zangari Carole Zangari says:

      Great point, Jane. You’re right that using these ourselves exposes design issues, both good and bad. Thanks for your kind words about the blog. We’re learning a lot!

  • Ellen Horton says:

    When citing sources for the idea of aided language stimulation, please don’t forget the contributions of Carol Goossens’, Pam Elder, and Sharon Crain.

    • Carole Zangari Carole Zangari says:

      Ellen, thanks for your comment. Their books on AAC with prek and adults have been invaluable and we strongly encourage our prAACtical friends to seek them out. W

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