Our student should be using their AAC devices throughout the day. We don’t need to plan separate activities for the students to do in order to use their devices. If we incorporate AAC devices into activities we are already doing with our students it will help our students be more efficient with their devices and make it easier to remember to use those devices. I have my students use their AAC devices while participating in adapted book lessons. You just need to modify the activity depending on the student’s device and skill level. Here are some ways I incorporate AAC while reading some different adapted books. I’ll go through a few of these books and give some examples of how I have used AAC with the books.
If your student is using a communication book you may just put the “my turn” or “more” symbol on the book. Then every time you finish one page in the book the student has to select the “my turn” or “more” symbol and exchange it with you in order to turn the page. The student can also push the “my turn” or “turn page” icons on an AAC device to indicate his/her turn as well. I usually am working with 2-3 student in a group so the student whose turn it is would get to request to turn the page and then he/she would help me read the page in the book and complete what is needed on that page.
Let’s look at the Farm Adapted Book Series. For the “Farmer, Farmer What Do You See?” book after the student requests his/her turn he would get to complete the page in the book. After reading, “farmer, farmer what do you see?…I see a pig in the mud” page, the student would find the pig and place it on that page. Depending on your student’s device and level you can have them answer a question about this page or describe the picture on their device. I might ask “who is in the mud?” or point to the pig and ask “what animal?” The student can find the picture of the pig on their communication book and exchange the picture with me or find “pig” on their device. To expand it I might have the student describe “where” the pig is. They could type “pig in mud” or “I see a pig” on their device. Now that this page is over the next student would request his turn in the book.
In the farm book “Farmer, Farmer Who’s Next?” after your student places the correct animal picture on the page, he/she can find the animal picture on their communication book and exchange it with you to answer the question “what animal?”. If the student has an AAC device, he/she can work on expanding their utterances to describe the animal’s location such as “cow in the tractor”. They can also describe the animal they see in the picture such as “I see a cow”. Anything to have the student find the animal on their device, describe the animal’s color, or describe the animal’s location is great for the student to do while reading this book.
Just like I work on expanding verbal utterances I do the same with students using AAC systems. Sasha created a bunch of different “How Many? What Color? What?” adapted books which I find really great to use with both low and high tech AAC systems. For each page, the student can formulate the same phrase on their device as the book. For example “2 yellow flowers”. Now the student works on navigating to the numbers page, the color page, and finding the correct item on his/her device. If the student is working on answering simple “what” questions or “how many” you could just ask a question about the items on the page and have the student answer the question. Such as “how many flowers?” and the student only has to select the 2 or exchange the number 2 picture with you. You could also ask “what color?” and the student can find the “yellow” icon on his/her device or exchange the “yellow” picture with you. Lots of ways to work on answering questions and expanding utterances with these books.
Working on using prepositions with your student on his/her AAC device? There are many different adapted books you can use to target this skill. In the adapted book “Where is the Easter Egg?”, you can have your student navigate to find the correct preposition to describe where the egg is located. For example, the student can just find “in”, “on”, “under”, “next to”, etc. You can also have your student work on producing the entire prepositional phrase on their device. For example, your student can use the phrase “over the umbrella” or “above the umbrella” to describe the egg’s location. There are so many different adapted books which target prepositional concepts.
If you want to work on building up some school supplies vocabulary terms you can use the School Supplies Adapted Book Series. For the school supply book “What’s On the Desk?” you can point to some of the words on a core board which pair with the book. I often point to the symbols “what” and “on” every time I read the sentence “What’s on the desk?” Sometimes my student likes to point to the “What” symbol on the core board as I read.
You can also just have your student find the school supply item in his communication book or on his/her AAC device. For some of you higher functioning students, the student can use a descriptive concept to describe the school supplies. Maybe “sharp scissors” or “white glue”. Sometimes I just have the student find the school supply item on his/her device. The student can also use an “I see…” phrase to describe what they see on the page.
Other good adapted books to use with AAC are the “I Spy” books. There are many different themes you can choice from with the I Spy books. After the student selects the correct picture to meet the given criteria, the student can find that same item on his/her device. He/she can work on expanding their utterances and use an “I see…” phrase. You can also ask them a simple question about the item such as “what color?” or “what does a frog do?” and they can find the word “jump” or “hop” on their device.