[Source: PrAACtical AAC/Carol Zangari]
Here’s a sobering thought. Relatively few users of AAC use grammatically correct sentences when they communicate. There are lots reasons for that, but in this post, we focus on understanding the things that contribute to that problem. In Part 2, we’ll look at ways to address the issue.
Let’s reflect on the problem of why many AAC learners don’t communicate with complete, grammatically correct utterances.
When communication is time-consuming and difficult, it makes sense to put your effort to saying things that convey a lot of meaning and skip the rest. If you are trying to get your point across with as little effort as possible, content-heavy words, like agents, actions, and places, pack a punch. As clinicians, we are often so driven to understand the main points of what the learner is trying to convey that we promote that strategy. Here are two snippets to illustrate.
- Clinician: Look at you! I love the new T-shirt.
- Learner: Christmas.
- Clinician: Oh, you got it for Christmas?
- Learner: [nods yes]
- Learner: Camp.
- Clinician: You want to tell me about camp? That’s great! You’re going to have such a good time. When are you going?
- Learner: August.
- Clinician: What camp are you going to? Is it here in Florida?
- Learner: [shakes head no]