Last year I used the Checkers  #littleshopminis to work on early literacy skills with a group of Grade 0 children. You can see how I did this over here

This year, Checkers sent me a full set of #littleshopminis which I used for working on Augmentative Alternative Communication – AAC. Evidence based practice for AAC is called Modelling or Aided Language Stimulation

We played I go to the shop and I buy……..

The activity allowed opportunities for AAC modelling and a number of other skills.

  • I could model the phrase “I go to the shop and I buy” over and over again. It is FULL of core vocabulary.
  • We worked on memory skills
  • We worked on categorisation
  • We worked on turn-taking
  • I was able to prompt using visual cues
  • The iPad (protected by a Gripcase and stand) acted as a natural barrier between the hidden objects and the child. This allowed me to hide the minis behind the barrier. When the student recalled the items, he received the mini – a natural communicative response.
  • It was highly motivating, because the objects are replicas of the real ones.

There are a number of DO’s and DON’Ts for modelling AAC.

Lauren Enders’ AAC Boot Camp, shown below, highlights some golden rules.

AAC modelling

In the first part of the session, I modelled the carrier phrase and core words. I used visual and verbal prompts to help the student locate the items we had each chosen to buy. Whilst the core vocabulary is most important for language development, the fringe vocabulary, was the motivating part of the task for the student!

The second part of the clip, is the memory task, where the student had to recall all the items we bought and use the AAC more independently.

The student is using Touch Chat with Word Power 

*NOTE – No hand-over hand prompting was done, but the student has poor motor control for selection of icons and both the facilitator and myself are providing wrist support.  I would love to hear of any ideas for facilitating better access.

Modelling AAC

In order to become an effective communicator, AAC needs to be modelled. Modelling requires practice from everyone in order to become ‘fluent’ in the language.  AAC users cannot learn how to effectively use their AAC system for communication if they do not see it used regularly and reliably by others in their world.

Despite knowing the Do’s and Don’ts of modelling AAC, I still made a number of errors which I have highlighted in the clip. I tended to provide too much prompting and/or not enough time for the student to respond. Videoing myself was a great learning experience for me, and a way to learn and grow.

Thank you to @Checkers_SA for sending me my #littleshopminis   🙂  🙂  🙂 

You can find some awesome learning activities using #littleshopminis on the Checkers site over here

I would love to hear how you are using your minis?

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