Modeling isn't working just because they don't pay attention when you provide the model.
• Even if they are not looking, they may be listening.
• They are more likely to pay attention if you model language related to their interests and mood.
• You can make video models of exciting and essential messages to create diverse learning methods for the user.
• You can invite peers or siblings to model because they might be interested.
• Remember that it takes time. If you keep modeling regularly, the user will learn that it's worth their attention.
• They purposefully don't use that AAC system.
• They didn't mean to say that.
• They are just playing.
• They only stim on it.
• This system is new, and the user has to analyze it to understand what it can do.
• You can't read their mind, so you don't know if they meant to say that or not.
• When children learn to speak, they babble. The AAC user goes through another process.
• If you respond to what the user is saying, you can help them discover their power as a communicator and what the words mean in diverse contexts.
The user needs time and models to learn using this system.
• They don't even make clear choices yet.
• They are not ready for a complex device.
• How do I know what their choice is? I can't guess what they are thinking.
• Maybe they are just picking something because they know that I want them to respond.
• Perhaps my choices aren't what they are thinking about right now.
• Maybe they changed their mind after they selected it. That happens to me too.
• Perhaps if they had more words than that, they would say things that I'm not anticipating.
• We don't wait for speaking children to make selections before talking to them, so we should be patient and understanding to make AAC users feel comfortable using the device.
• They can't learn to use a system unless I show them how.
They can say a few words. So how would AAC help them? Maybe it will keep them from speaking more!
• Speech is the most efficient way to express thoughts and feelings. So if they could use speech, they probably would.
• It must be stressful not to be able to communicate clearly. Therefore, having a different way of voicing their ideas would reduce the inevitable frustration they are constantly experiencing.
• Besides the tools they use to communicate, they should also own an AAC system. It's helpful to have more strategies!
• Research suggests that AAC DOESN'T affect speech production; it reinforces it!
• Using an AAC device would let them learn how to use language while their speech continues to develop.
• I hope I'll get to know them even better.
We can't limit the AAC users' access to communication just because speech is comfortable. They deserve to be heard.
The user can articulate a few words. Could AAC actually help them? What if it keeps them from speaking more?
• Speech is the most efficient and comfortable way to express a thought. If the user could express their ideas through speech, they probably would.
• An AAC system could be an essential addition to the user's communication instruments.
• Using an AAC system would allow the user to learn how to utilize language while their speech continues to expand.
• Using an AAC system would allow the user to express better their opinions, feelings, and needs and feel empowered and understood.
• I want to get to know the user even better. We can use the language on an AAC system to connect, and I might discover surprising things about the user that I couldn't find out before.
This child is too (insert adjective) to use robust AAC.
I can guide them. I need to figure out the strategies that will support the user's unique needs.
This device is too complicated. There is no way they will learn this. Not even I can do it.
I can learn one section or a couple of words at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed. They probably won't understand it unless I do!
Why can't they do (insert skill) yet? It is taking too long.
It's a marathon. Not a sprint. If we keep learning, the results will improve in time.