Strategies to Use When Communicating With a Person Who Uses Augmentative Communication
Some of the rules for having a conversation change when we are speaking with someone who uses augmentative or alternative communication (AAC).
Here are some guidelines to consider:
- Speak respectfully to the person who is using AAC. Use a natural tone, volume, and rate.
- Ask the person to show you how they communicate “yes” and “no”.
- Ask the person if they have a communication display or device.
- Ask if you can get the display or device out of their bag.
- Ask the person to demonstrate use of the display or device.
- Ask the person to demonstrate their signal that they have something to communicate.
- Give the person the opportunity and time to communicate.
- Repeat the message back to the person to ensure that you have understood the intended message.
- Put the message into a sentence and ask for confirmation.
- Focus on what the person communicates, not just on how they communicate.
Collier, B.M. (2000). Communicating Matters: A training guide for personal attendants working with consumers who have enhanced communication needs. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.