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Module 1 Unit 2 How are Symbols Used

Module 1 Unit 2

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Module 1 Unit 2 How are Symbols Used

  1. 1. How are Symbols used? Module 1 Unit 2
  2. 2. In this activity we will cover • How symbols are used on AAC devices and systems • Settings where AAC and symbols are used • Activities in which AAC can be used • Issues to consider in choosing an AAC system or device • Planning for progression
  3. 3. Language and Communication • Can you remember the range of functions that we identified in Unit 1 as being things that language and communication allow us to do • Write as many as you can remember before looking at the next slide to refresh your memory
  4. 4. How many did you remember? Communication and language skills allow a person to… • Initiate, maintain, and terminate conversations • Establish/maintain relationships • Give information • Ask/Answer questions • Describe events • Solve problems • Direct others • Express feelings • Tell Stories • Learn • Function with greater independence
  5. 5. Getting started with AAC Watch the video below and make notes on the examples given to help us get started with engaging children with AAC
  6. 6. Effective use of AAC is based upon a number of factors The following points are important to consider when getting started with AAC devices and systems • Don’t aim too low • Provide access to both high and low tech solutions • Use a well-designed validated vocabulary • Provide appropriate access to the device or system • Have the device available at all times • Use Aided Language Stimulation • Provide specific vocabulary instruction • Teach how to describe words that are not on the device • Create communication opportunities in many settings • Allow exploration of language and communication • Work towards literacy and language • Respect multi-model communication Don’t worry if you don’t yet know all these approaches – we will be covering them through the course
  7. 7. Think about where you are starting out from with an AAC solution the child you are working with experienced these stages and mastered them? When you reach a point where you can say “No” it is a good starting point for further planning
  8. 8. Starting out in learning to use an AAC device or system Watch the video below. Think about how you would use this approach in introducing a device or system to a child
  9. 9. Lets start with Simple Communication The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is an example of low tech communication. It uses printed cards and boards to facilitate communication and interaction The Picture Exchange Communication System, or PECS, allows people with little or no communication abilities to communicate using pictures. People using PECS are taught to approach another person and give them a picture of a desired item in exchange for that item.
  10. 10. Simple Communication Boards Simple communication boards are collections of symbols organised in a logical order that an AAC user can engage with to communicate. Some are printed and can be used on a table or in a book. Others are added to an electronic device to allow symbol choices to be spoken out Communication system often link together a series of boards to allow for a wide vocabulary
  11. 11. Example of a simple communication board Here is an example of a simple board for use in a hospital to communicate immediate needs when a patient is unable to speak
  12. 12. Accessing Low Tech communication systems Using a finger with a book Using your eyes with an etran frame
  13. 13. From Low tech to High Tech Many children benefit from a more high tech approach. These can use different technologies which can be very simple to set up and use, or which can need a much greater level of knowledge and expertise. What do you need to think about as you think about offering a device to an AAC user?
  14. 14. Considerations
  15. 15. Some questions about the child to consider What are the current communication skills that you can observe? How would you describe the child’s thinking abilities. At a fundamental level do they understand cause and effect relationships? Are we certain of the child’s vision and hearing do we know for sure what they can see and hear? What level of physical ability does the child have, do they have the means to point to a symbol from a selection, or have a reliable form of access to technology? Are there any behavioral issues to bear in mind? Is a child likely to throw or damage a device if it is left unsecured?
  16. 16. Think about the child’s understanding of language or comprehension Can you observe the child demonstrating that they understand how to • Follow directions • Identify objects or people when requested • Match objects or photos together when asked • Name or label objects when asked • Imitate tasks • Sequence tasks • Answer targeted questions (Lee, 2011) Think about the implications for communication if they cannot demonstrate any of these
  17. 17. Think about the child’s ability to use language to express themselves. To share and relay their thoughts Can you observe examples where the child demonstrates that they can • Express their wants, needs and feelings • Direct tasks • Describe or comment on what they see or experience • Engage in social routines including turn taking games • Ask Questions (Lee, 2011) Consider the implications for vocabulary and complexity of sentences if a child cannot demonstrate the ability to undertake any of these.
  18. 18. Think about some factors related to the setting or context of communication • Is the physical environment conducive to AAC and Communication, is it distracting or overwhelming for the child? • Are there communication partners available who understand and are confident to interact with the child through their system or device? • Do we know how the child and partners will be trained to use the device or system effectively? • Do we know how any device or system will be paid for if necessary? • Does the child or family have any personal preferences we should take into account?
  19. 19. Choosing a Device -Some things to think about What output is needed? Does the device need to speak out, produce text, show symbols etc How complex is the child’s communication going to be? Is it just emerging and is it context dependent or independent How will the child access and use the device or system? Switches, touchscreens, eyegaze are all popular methods to control the device for communication • How will this integrate with other AT needs? Does the child use other technology that we should take account of. This could include wheelchairs, environmental control systems or toys
  20. 20. Mutually Supportive No Tech High Tech Different forms of technology might be used at different times depending on context and setting. For instance an electronic aid might not be allowed in a cinema or on a flight, but a communication board would be acceptable
  21. 21. Mutually Supportive At other times communication systems integrate, for instance a child might use a communication board to request their device if it is not currently available. For instance when they first wake up.
  22. 22. Implementing AAC • Express their needs and wants • Exchange Information • Facilitate Social Closeness • Enable Social Etiquette But communication activities don’t need to be formal! Play, games and having fun are key motivators for communication and interaction We can recognize many of these in the ways in which parents intercat with their children There are four main functions of communication from an early stage. We want to support the child to
  23. 23. Plan for communication progression by thinking about levels of capability Level 1 Emerging Communicators. These are Pre-symbolic communicators who may display reflexive/reactive behaviour (laughing, crying) interpreted as communicative, and who exhibit intentional goal-directed behaviour or exhibit intentional communicative behaviour. Level 2 Beginning Symbolic Communicators might be using some symbols one at a time and have not started combining them together. They might use (or have tried) picture or object-based communications strategies, or a single or double-message speech generating device Level 3 Intermediate Symbolic Communicators may be using a number of symbols and may be combining these having close to 50 symbols in their repertoire in a simple syntax or word order, such as I want.... I like... I don’t like... I go... etc. Level 4 Advanced Symbol communicators who are competent with a widening and increasingly complex vocabulary and ease of communication
  24. 24. Examples of AAC user stories
  25. 25. Examples of AAC play activities Source Smartbox Training at https://thinksmartbox.com/new s/developing-aac-through-play/
  26. 26. Summary Symbols are used in all sorts of activities They can be used functionally to communicate our needs and wants, and to express our thoughts. But they can also be the basis of play, fun and games an important means of learning to interact with those around us
  27. 27. Key learning points • Planning for progression is important in working with AAC • Finding a good starting point needs consideration of different factors • Both low and high tech systems are important • We can develop our use of AAC in both formal settings and in games and play

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