How to stimulate the AAC user to start communicating?
If the AAC user is completely new to AAC, then this lesson will show you how to motivate him/her to start using the AAC device.
Begin with words that describe the AAC user's favorite things and activities. For example, if the AAC user really loves chocolate, then "chocolate" might be a good word to program into the app. Start with a few words for things that the child really likes, and expect to build up from there.
Let's use the "chocolate" example. If you know that the AAC user loves chocolate, this is what you can do:
You need to motivate your AAC user to use the device. How will you do it? Simple. By leveraging the fact that your child wants chocolate.
Give him/her the chocolate just if he/she asks for it using the device.
To make it simple for him/her to ask for chocolate, you need to do a few settings to the vocabulary.
1. Add the desired word ("chocolate") to the home page of the vocabulary. You must edit an existing button and transform it into a "chocolate" button. You can do this by selecting: menu - edit a button. Tap a button that you want to edit. Now, change the name of the button to "chocolate", the message also to "chocolate", change the photo and set the color of the border to orange. (because orange = object)
2. Now that you have the desired word on the home page, you don't want your AAC user to be distracted by other words, so you must hide all the other buttons.
Here you have a video of how to do all of the above:
You now have a home page with a single button, representing chocolate. The vocabulary is ready for the first interaction with the AAC user.
When the AAC user taps the word "chocolate", you must give him/her what he/she requested. In this way, your AAC user will learn a very important lesson: everything he/she tells using the iPad will have an effect in real life. So the child understands that he/she can request objects using the iPad and actually get them in real life.
You can build up from there. Add more words for things that the AAC user tries to get (e.g. "ball" for a child who loves balls). To do this just unhide some of the previously hidden buttons and edit them, to transform them into objects your AAC user loves.
Words like "more," "want," "help," and "mine" are good additions once they understand the basics.
In the next lesson, you will learn how to begin using phrases and sentences.