Generally speaking, those who become partners with augmentative or alternative communication do so because someone they care about needs support. AAC assistive solutions are a powerful way to engage the thoughts and ideas of a person whose voice might be hard to hear without technology.
But successful AAC use is MUCH more than just handing a device to a struggling communicator and expecting them to tap out their inner most feelings. Successful AAC users need a team.
Cheris Frailey, CCC-SLP, teaches, “The use of AAC is not successful with just the student alone. It is the responsibility of the AAC team to facilitate, educate, and encourage use of the device throughout the day. Parents, teachers, OTs, PTs and SLPs must work together in order for the student to succeed at using his/her AAC device.”
An enthusiastic parent who models and encourages use of AAC can be undermined by a teacher who is unwilling to do the same. An incredible therapist engaging AAC during therapy can’t make nearly as much progress unless the family also climbs on board and communicates using the technology at home.
If each person – parent, sibling, teacher, therapist, technician, friend– chooses to reach in and grab their own piece of AAC pie, pretty quick the communicator will be surrounded by reinforcement, assistance, and support and will know they are not alone on this journey.
Communication is powerful, and being a part of the group that makes it happen is a beautiful thing.
Because AAC is not a one man show.
Successful communication takes a team -- and there is no “i” in team…(or in CoughDrop).