In Recognition of AAC Month, we are sharing resources about how to support your child in learning how to use AAC at home.
What is Aided Language Stimulation and Why is it so important?
If your child has been introduced to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems, you have likely heard the phrase “Aided Language Stimulation”.
What is Aided Language Stimulation?
Aided Language Stimulation is a strategy that is taught to communication partners that is essentially modeling language using the same system the child is using. That means, you as a communication partner, are also using the AAC system to communicate.
Why is it Important?
Aided language stimulation is so important because it is providing input in the same “language” as their communication partners are expecting the child to output. Think about a baby learning language for the first time. First, the baby listens to all of the words and sounds that their caregivers are saying, they explore their voice by babbling and then babies say their first words. Babies understand much more before they are able to express– this is often true for AAC users. AAC users are learning a totally new language therefore; they need receptive input, through aided language stimulation (modeling) before they can be expected to use the language. Another pro to aided language stimulation is that the caregiver becomes familiar with the communication device or system.
AAC users need a lot of practice, exposure and time. In fact, research shows that AAC users have much fewer opportunities to communicate and some research indicates that it would take 701 more years of language exposure to have the same immersed experience as oral language peers!
Now that you know what aided language stimulation is, check back to see how you can do it at home!