When it comes to the world of AAC I feel that there is nothing more beneficial then being able to actually see various AAC forms in action! Now I have several patients that I work with and use different forms of AAC with but this post is about a particular patient that is pretty involved.
We have tried several different forms of AAC with this patient but just could not seem to make a break through to show the importance of use of AAC to communicate. Recently, I feel that we have started to make some headway! I adapted this idea from one of the Talk Tools educational videos.
As you can see from the pictures below my set up is a table with the AAC (though the one we use was not available for the picture), a mat as a divider and a chair on the other side. The AAC that I am using with this patient I believe is the mini-com (two of them to be specific) from Enabling Devices. It looks very similar to the AAC on the table below except it is just one yellow switch that allows for recording of a short message.
Now there are several options you can do with this but I'm going to share just a few of the things that we do.
First Option - We started with the patient touching the switch with and the voice activation saying "mom" then mom would pop out from behind the mat! After several treatment sessions of watching the patient's anticipatory behaviors (eye gaze to where mom jumps out after activating the switch with minimal cues) then we increased the complexity.
Second Option - I decided that we needed a foil. This patient happens to hate the texture of towels. I would lay a small dry wash towel over one switch (with the recording of towel) and keep the other switch the same "mom" recording. Obviously when the patient activated the towel button then the towel would be brought to him and then was told "oh no not the towel - we wanted this one to get mom!" Then gesture or model activating the "mom" switch.
Third Option - We took away the foil of the towel and turned this into a some-what sequencing task. On one switch we recorded "mom" and on the other we recorded "bubbles." The patient LOVED IT when his mom would jump out and blow some bubbles for him. Now I say this is technically a "some-what" sequencing task because the patient does sometimes hit the bubbles switch before hitting the mom switch. So his mom will still blow the bubbles though will not pop up. So the patient does not have to sequence this perfectly to get a reinforcement though I feel from his body language that he enjoys it most when he activates the sequence correctly (mom jumping up and then blowing the bubbles).
What kind of unique techniques do you use in AAC?