It is time once again this month for the Unexpected Therapy Find (UTF) Linky Party. So far we have covered articulation and apps, check them out by clicking on the words. This month’s topic is AAC. I have found that SLPs have to be very creative when it comes to AAC devices to help their clients communicate since many devices are very expensive or unusable for their clients. Here is a list of some of the unique items that I have used to help my students with limited or nonverbal communication limitations.
1. Key chains
I came across this idea on Pinterest (here is the original link) but I couldn’t find these particular ones so I substituted. I wanted something that the students, teachers, or aides simply could carry with them. I only wanted to use it for “yes” and “no” since most of my students could answer these questions with moderate accuracy and it was easy for people to get the information they needed. The key chains that I found were designed so you could create your own. It is a round, clear plastic circle that I inserted two pieces of paper, “yes” on one side and “no” on the other.
2. Talking Picture Albums
I found this idea on a website years ago; I wish I could recall the site. I used the talking picture albums to record different stories or information about the student such as how old they are, what they like, and information about their families. It is was easy for them to push the button to activate the voice on each page when they were communicating with peers.
3. Paint Sticks
Another Pinterest idea (here is the original link and here). I love when I can get an AAC item for practically FREE. I asked the local hardware store for paint sticks. They have 2 different sizes, large and small. I like using them both. I added velcro and I had an instant communication tool. I have used the sticks for schedules and for sequencing activities or events in a story. I have also used them for sentence building for my language students.
4. Picture Holder
I made this device because I have a student that has spastic limb movements and he is nonverbal. He needs pictures to be spread farther apart so he can touch his choice. We have been working on answering “wh” questions and classifying but I needed a third hand to hold the stimulus picture along with the two choices. I made this tool from a ruler and three clothespins. It was so useful immediately. I was able to have a hand free and show him the choices and stimulus picture.
I hope you have found some new ideas to use in AAC therapy with your clients. Please comment and share your own ideas. If you have a website, please link-up at the bottom of the post and use the picture at the top of the post.
Here is next month’s topic: Category Therapy.