Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. is a family-focused speech language pathology practice. We provide articulation, language, oral-motor/feeding, and AAC services to our patients.
In the world of special education, communication is at the core of a child’s development and growth. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems are invaluable tools for children with communication challenges. To harness the full potential of these systems, it’s crucial for both special education teachers and families to develop a habit of using the child’s AAC device to model natural communication in their daily routines. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges of habit formation, plan for modeling during daily routines, and discuss the use of naturally occurring triggers as cues to reinforce AAC device use.
To understand how to develop a habit of using AAC systems, we can turn to the research of Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist. Milkman’s work highlights three essential components for habit formation: repetition, consistency, and a trigger.
Developing a habit of AAC modeling requires strategic planning. Here’s how to incorporate it into daily routines effectively:
Naturally occurring triggers can be powerful in reinforcing AAC device use:
Developing a habit of using the child’s AAC system for natural communication in daily routines is challenging, but the quick payoff is a child who daily quickly begins to use the words and messages they are hearing (and seeing!) you say. By understanding the science of habits, planning for modeling during daily activities, and utilizing naturally occurring triggers, special education teachers and families can empower children to express themselves effectively. The consistent, supportive use of AAC systems can foster lifelong communication skills and enrich the lives of children with special needs. Together, let’s build these essential habits to help children with communication challenges thrive.