Fun Activities to Develop Communication Skills of AAC Users
AAC(Augmentative and Alternative Communication) is a term referring to all communication other than natural speech. This includes communication modes that supplement as well as substitute natural speech of individuals. For people with communication deficits, AAC systems provide a means to convey their needs, wants, feelings, and opinions.
Exciting games and activities can make AAC learning fun. Here are a few activities that can help an AAC user gain skills that enable them to communicate better.
For children fond of reading, shared reading can be a great activity to develop language skills required for communication. You can let them choose one of their favourite books. It’s important to not assume what they prefer to read.
Would you like to read ‘The Hungry Caterpillar, ‘The Silly Pirate’, or something else?
Once the child picks the book, start reading and make observations about the characters and events in the story. Asking too many questions can make the child feel tested. Make comments and pause to see if the communicator has something to say. Make sure you have descriptive words and story-related vocabulary programmed into their AAC systems. Then proceed to ask questions about the story. Pause again to give time for the child to construct a response. Respond by adding more information.
Digital Games with Smart Assistants
Some emergent communicators may be uninterested in exploring the app or device at the start of the AAC journey.The ability of AAC apps to talk to Alexa or Google Assistant can give AAC users the impetus to use their AAC systems. They too would want to interact with this digital ally in the living room that their peers are connecting with.
Smart assistants have something for every learner, from number puzzles to quizzes and silly games. Since most games can be played by communicators using high tech AAC systems, smart assistant’s can serve as quite a dynamic tool for communication, learning, and entertainment. Animal Sounds’ with Google Assistant and ‘Memory Tic Tac Toe’ with Alexa are some examples of games AAC users can play with smart assistants.
What’s in the Bag?
This simple game can be played using just a cardboard box, paper bag or a tote bag. Put a few things in the bag and ask children to reach into the bag and guess the item they have picked.
Encourage children to describe the item – how it feels, the size, shape, etc. using their AAC systems.
Prompt by asking questions such as ‘Is it soft or hard?’
Children can also find any other item in the room that belongs to the same category as the item they picked. For example, if they picked a sharpener, they can be encouraged to find a related item such as a pencil or an eraser.
Be it in the classroom or at home, these exciting activities and games can motivate children to communicate and interact more. Besides, such games also lessen the workload of the communication partner and makes learning a more fun activity.
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