This is a useful skill to teach a child with communication challenges, since it helps them get their needs and wants met. It is also one of the initial concepts to teach using any AAC as it serves as a great motivator to help them realize the power of communication.
This is easier to start with, since you will find many opportunities through the day where the child is requesting for some object or activity that interests them.
How to teach
- Whenever the child comes to request you for an object or activity using either gestures or pointing or dragging you by the hand to show you what they want, you can immediately place Avaz before them with the required images and get them to make a choice. For example, if the child drags the parent to the kitchen and points to a packet of chips:
- Bring Avaz immediately and show the page having the word WANT and then to the page having chips.
- Say "Oh! You are pointing to chips. I think you want chips" stressing on want and simultaneously tap on want and chips in Avaz.
- Say "Here is chips" and hand over the chips to the child immediately to serve as a positive reinforcement.
- Tap the word WANT on Avaz and immediately reinforce the selection by offering the requested object or food or activity.
- Create opportunities to use it more often through the day through all the child's favourite activities. Repeat modelling WANT every time that the child requests any food, favourite items or activities through gestures or otherwise.
- If you need help to know how to model the word, click here to see - How to model words in Avaz?
- Generalize the same in the natural environment in real life situations to comment on experiences.
- Ensure that all family members too respond in the same manner to the child's request to ensure consistency of the response. If another family member hands over the item when the child points to it, then the child receives mixed signals and would be confused. And this would delay the child's learning.
Watch this video of 8 yr old boy with Down syndrome and autism leans to use Avaz for autism app to request for music.
Modelling ensures that there is no pressure on the child to repeat the request using Avaz.
Honouring the request immediately serves the following purposes :
- serves as a reward and motivation for the user.
- makes the child feel empowered to have the ability to get what they want and to alter their environment
WANT and GIVE and MORE are the main Core words that help the child to request for an action or activity. Click here to know more about Core words - What are Core words?
Core word : WANT
Need-based requesting: Use this if the user is new to Avaz. Select the most frequently requested objects by the user. E.g. water, popcorn (train - his favourite activity). Get the user to use Avaz every time he requests it. Obligate his request by giving him/her the object requested for. This helps him/her to understand the power of communication.
a. Request for an object - Example: Request for desired clothing using ‘I want______”
Add a picture of "I want" on Avaz in the clothing folder and prompt the user to ask for his/her desired clothing to wear by touching 'I want' and then the desired clothing on Avaz. Reinforce the user immediately and accordingly.
b. Request for an action - Example: Request to go to a desired place/location
Add a picture of "I want" and “go” on Avaz in the location folder and prompt the user to ask for his/her wish to go somewhere. Encourage the user to touch 'I want', ‘go’ and then the desired location on Avaz. Reinforce the user immediately and accordingly.
c. Request for attention- You could encourage the user to point to family members and request their respective attention by choosing the respective icon from the appropriate folder.
d. Request for information- The user might be curious to know what is in a container or to know what is in the shopping bag after a shopping activity or would want to know who is at the door or to know where his/her mom is going to. Encourage the user to choose the appropriate icon to request for information from the partner.