Alternative and augmentative communication
AAC is facilitated and implemented in all aspects of the school day in functional and realistic situations where possible. AAC can take the form of lo-tech symbol support and makaton signing in early years to high tech communication aids which can enable students to access the internet, mobile phone technology and social networking.
We also work together with parents giving 1 to 1 support to learn about their child's Communication aid and how to develop their skills. We also carry out training for specific needs.
We develop AAC skills by initially motivating students to communicate using cause and effect and requesting favourite activities and toys. They learn to identify friends, choose toys, give news and information in pre-stored sentences and gradually move to putting words together spontaneously, building sentences and eventually creating pieces of work to link into literacy and classroom targets and topics.
Our students access their Communication aids in a number of different ways using direct access, switch and eyegaze using symbols and literacy skills.
In order to practice building and using sentences we go on a variety of visits to shops, restaurants and other places of interest to use what we learn in context. We also interact with students in other schools who use communication aids on Communication Activities days and Stargazer groups for eyegaze users.
Our students can achieve City and Guilds accreditation in AAC and also in Effective Mathematical Language.