Starting a Journey with Stepping into AAC

May 23, 2024 by - Leave your thoughts

Starting a Journey with Stepping into AAC
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Welcome back to our series on using the Stepping Into AAC program materials, a self-study program for families seeking to learn about and begin using AAC with their child, teen, or adult. In today’s post, we explore some of the things to do in preparation for starting an AAC journey and move into the first week of AAC learning activities.

As you begin your Stepping Into AAC journey, there are 3 main things to do.

  1. Think about how you will organize your AAC learning materials and make a plan for incorporating AAC into your life. Starting in Week 1, you’ll do hands-on learning with your communication board (or device/app), watch informational videos, and read through documents.
  2. Prepare to select a communication board to use throughout this program. LINK to coom boards If you’re unsure of which one to use, don’t let that stop you. We’ll give you some guidance on how to do this in Week 1. 
    • If you already have an AAC device, check to be sure it has the core words that we focus on in this program. INSERT IMAGE CHART 
  3. Consider reaching out to your AAC learner’s team, specifically their teacher and classroom assistants, the school and/or private SLP, and other service providers (e.g., OT, behaviorist). 
    • We suggest telling them about your plan to do this AAC self-study and asking them to support these efforts. You can do this however you like, but if you need ideas of what to say or how to say it, take a look at this document
    • Connecting with key family members and caregivers who spend time with your AAC learner will also be helpful. Ideally, we want everyone to begin using AAC support strategies, so this is a good time to let them know about your plans.

For more information on the initial part of this journey, take a look at our page, Getting Started with Stepping Into AAC.

Ready for Week 1?

Each week has a page with the recommended activities and associated materials. You can find the Week 1 page here.

In this first week, you will gain a fuller understanding of what your 100-day Stepping Into AAC journey will look like and begin to explore the AAC tool you’ll be using for the next 20 weeks. You’ll also start to explore key concepts in supporting your AAC learner so that we can dive into strategies that will help them become more effective communicators.

The Week 1 page and those that follow have the resources you’ll use this week.

  • View or download the AACtion Steps for this week as a guide to the hands-on activities you’ll be completing.
  • Choose a communication tool using the documents we created to guide you through this process. Then, download and print it for daily use. You may want to print several copies and/or laminate them.
  • This week, you have four short videos to watch. Each one has an accompanying handout with some of the key points. It may be helpful to download these to your computer and/or print them as reminders or to share with others.
  • Access the weekly newsletter and consider sharing it with your AAC learner’s educational and/or therapeutic team.

If it would be helpful to print out everything you need for this first week, scroll to the bottom of the Week 1 page to get a document with all of the print resources bundled together. 

We’ll be back with additional posts to keep you moving forward on your Stepping Into AAC journey.

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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