AAC Fun in the Fringe and Halloween tips

assistive technology Oct 19, 2016

Core vocabulary is an incredible thing. Words are the building blocks of language and by developing a relationship with core words communicators are better able to express themselves on almost any topic.

But let's be honest, many of the things that are funnest to talk about live in the fringe.

And Halloween is a perfect example of that.

Obviously, words like zombie and Jack-O-Lantern don't come up a whole lot in regular, every-day conversation. But they could be pretty important when celebrating during the month of October.

While holiday oriented words may not be a solid piece of a person's language foundation they definitely provide powerful motivation for speech as well as something exciting to talk about. Shaping fringe boards for Halloween (and beyond) could be great encouragement to get a person talking.

Because that's the whole point of AAC -- we want to get people talking. We want to hear what they have to say and help them have a voice of their own.

Here are some tips to use AAC to celebrate Halloween (or any old holiday) and engage communicators in some spooky fun.

1. Work that core: Incorporate learning October core words into your Halloween activities. While fringe words are fun, core words are powerful. (Find core words here: set 1, set 2)

2. Dress it up: Use a Halloween themed speech board to help your little learner choose a costume. If you're headed out, be sure their costume isn't so cumbersome that it doesn't allow use of their AAC device.

3. Monster Media: Use CoughDrop to add songs or videos to your speech board to draw your communicator into the fun of the season and allow them some control of the celebration (see the Halloweensongs and videos in this speech board).

4. Give 'em the words: Help your communicator by modeling or scripting phrases that might be used regularly throughout the season (like "Happy Halloween" or "Trick-or-Treat"). Give them a chance to practice these phrases BEFORE they are needed.

5. Keep it charged: With all the hustle and hurry of holiday fun, it is sometimes easy to forget the basics. But AAC only matters if a person can use it. Be sure to check the battery before parties and outings so that your communicator's voice doesn't suddenly disappear.

6. Party in the Pages: Use Halloween excitement as a chance to draw communicators into learning. Spooky books or silly stories (like these) might be a perfect way to support speech and communication. Watch the pages for words you want to help your learner to know and use.

Happy Haunting!

Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams