When children explore their AAC systems, by just ‘hitting buttons’ we often assume that they don’t know and are just "babbling". Instead, we can treat this as purposeful communication and provide feedback to help the child.
ANY attempt to communicate by the AAC user needs to be acknowledged as meaningful communication, rather than ignoring or correcting or dismissing it. We need to believe that every tap on the AAC system is done with competence and we need to explore the possible intent with which the communication is attempted. This is called attributing meaning to their attempt to communicate.
Just because we don't understand the context of the child's response, do not assume that it is accidental. We can explore the intended meaning.
Treat the child's response as intentional and meaningful even if you don't immediately understand the relevance.
- Parent: What do you want for dinner?
- Child: taps 'TV'
- Parent: It’s not TV time yet. We can watch TV after dinner.
- Parent: "I love this red car", looking at a photo of a red car.
- Child: taps 'blue'
- Parent: "Oh you like blue cars! Let me look for a photo of a blue car".
Watch this video for a great explanation!
Deana Wagner's (AT Specialist) video about How to respond to the child's "babbling"
Rachel madley's video - What to do when a child makes a "mistake" on their device