Getting the Most Out of Remote AAC Therapy & Assessments — Part 2

Optimizing Virtual Sessions

As many of us know too well, people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices have been deeply affected by the pandemic, and by distance learning in particular. But that doesn’t mean that virtual AAC therapies and assessments aren’t possible. On the contrary! We sat down with LA–based speech and language pathologist Rachel Madel (MA, CCC-SLP), who specializes in AAC and working with children with autism, to find out how we can get our kids the support they need.

In this second installment of our four-part video interview, we look at how to make virtual AAC therapy sessions more fun and engaging, what a great virtual session should look like, and how to be better communication partners for our kids. Be sure to check out part 1 of this series, which focuses on the benefits of remote AAC assessments and therapy. 

 


  How can we make virtual therapy more fun and engaging?

 

 

View full-size video here.

 

 


  Can you describe a good virtual AAC session? What should families expect?

 


View full-size video here.
 

 


  How can we as parents be better communication partners?

 

 

View full-size video here.
 

 


  Collective wisdom: tips & strategies from parents!

 

We asked Special X parents whose children use AAC devices to share their real-world advice with us. We’ll be passing along their hard-won tips and wisdom throughout this series.

 

 “Parents need to stop talking so much! :)  Give your child space to communicate; don’t jump in and assume you know what they want or need to say. Let them try to figure  it out, and model some options on the device if they are unsure.”   — Special X member Leeza  “Let them enjoy exploring the device. We also use reinforcers to help our son remain engaged in virtual therapy.”    — Special X member Gemina       “Make it fun, and incorporate highly motivating things like a favorite toy or food item. The more motivated your child is, the more likely they will be to use the device.”   — Special X member Addie    “Always come back to: are we teaching them to independently communicate? What can we do to facilitate this?”   — Special X member Anu

 

Stay tuned for more tips on getting support with devices and therapy! And please chime in if you have tips to share. What’s working for your family? We’d love to know!

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