"During aided language stimulation, a therapist or teacher points to a graphic symbol while simultaneously producing the corresponding spoken word during natural communicative exchanges. Research clearly states that using this approach increases comprehension, motivates children to communicate and assists children with understanding expectations and timelines. The behavioral, communicative and social deficits in individuals with delayed language skills are significant stressors on their families. Aided language stimulation is a method to “take the stress out” of communication while students learn to use spoken language. Parents often ask if this approach is needed for their child with autism or severely delayed communication. Providing a means to communicate immediately is essential. It reduces frustration and allows students to let others know their basic wants and needs. From an academic standpoint, giving students a way to communicate allows the teachers and therapists to know what students understand. That is key to providing an effective treatment plan.
By using print, pictures and symbols, we are making language and literacy development more visual. We can then combine auditory and visual information during teaching. This is a hugely successful technique. This process will NOT discourage speech production from children who have low verbal skills or who are not speaking yet. It will enhance the opportunity for stronger communication skills." Click here to link to the webpage this was taken from.
Check out this great video demonstration of aided language>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Some Key Points, Guidelines and Recommendations (based on Carol Goossens)
- Use primarily single words (symbols) and short grammatically correct phrase (symbol phrase) to talk about what the child hearing, seeing, doing and feeling. For example, your child sees something and points. You can respond with the single word "look" or a short phrase, "Mom look."
- Speak slowly, inserting numerous pauses into the conversational flow. Don't be afraid to point to the pictures slowly or fumble when using the topic board or devise. If it is taking you time to learn how to use it and you can read, think of the increased task your child faces.
- Use lots of repetition as you describe ongoing events. Remember, repetition is the key to learning. Consider teaching this strategy to other important people in your child's life. The more role models, then the more learning opportunities your child has.
- Whenever the child indicates something nonverbally, provide the child with single word (symbol) needs to communicate the exact same intent. Remember, they don't always need to repeat or imitate it back. Those little babies aren't expected to say their first words until they have been taught language for on average 12 months!
- Whenever the child indicates something with a single word (symbol), expand the message into a semantically equivalent two-word (symbol) combination.