By Krista Howard
Many of us are looking for more independence. Communication plays a big role in becoming independent. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users need their independence in order to live normal lives.
The AAC devices can help them to find that! People wonder if individuals with disabilities can do anything. We are often judged and bullied throughout our lives. That is why people with disabilities need to be inspired and educated by professionals and teachers who will not judge us. They need to help us to learn to communicate.
AAC users and their parents must be advocates for their needs and wants.
They need to select vocabulary and language structures that will help the student establish and maintain meaningful communicative interactions in their life.
Interactions with people are very important. Don’t be scared to use your device to talk to the cashier at Panda Express or the optician at Walmart Vision Center. Start a conversation at school or in the park.
Making a notebook with devices is one way that we can communicate easier. If we are going to have a meeting, we need to prepare for it. Storing icon sequences is another way make it easier and faster to talk.
I wish people in this world would understand that we can do anything we set our mind to with the support and the freedom we need.
Often, AAC users have few friends in their close friends circle. In such cases, their school Individualized Service Plan (ISP) team can work together to provide vocabulary and teach interaction skills that will help this circle to grow. Peer mentoring is another important intervention that can grow students’ active vocabulary.
Peer mentoring is where the teachers select a few of the students from their classroom to help AAC users in school and with communication. The student will grow in this program.
Communicators In Action