We know that the best way to teach a student to use augmentative communication (AAC) is in context.
We provide modeling of using the system when we are talking to the student. We use and cue use of the system in the context of motivating activities. We provide many many opportunities each day for the student to see others using the aac system to communicate, and many opportunities for them to use the system for what they want to say.
As students progress from using single symbol “utterances” to being able to combine words/symbols to make messages, we continue to provide models that are 1 developmental step above where they currently communicate. And, we make sure that those opportunities are within the context of their every day activities.
Some students need additional practice making sentences in their communication systems beyond what they get in natural contexts. Additionally, some students who have limited verbal skills benefit from use of visual cues to build phrases and sentences with their limited vocabulary.
I have created resources that go beyond single words to phrases, and then to complete basic sentences, in order to give these students practice in the structure therapy or classroom settings. Try these free samples in a lesson with your students. (Just right click to download.)
Keep on talking! (even nonverbally)