Augmented Language Interventions
Many caregivers hope for their children to be primarily verbal communicators. This may lead them to shy away from using augmented or alternative communication modes in the home or with their therapy team.
However, multiple studies concluded that using augmented communication supports, not hinders, communication development including increasing vocabulary size and use in young children (Romski et al., 2010). Using augmented communication materials during therapy sessions can be fun, educational for the family, and beneficial for the client.
Using augmented language in therapy
- Vocabulary: Work with the family and other professionals to choose functional, rewarding vocabulary targets that occur during routines (e.g. snack, music, gym, etc.). Be sure to include a variety of words including nouns, verbs, and functional phrases to base your learning around (Romski et al., 2010).
- Language Boards: Create language boards to support communication during frequently used activities (e.g. bubbles, art, songs, etc.). Demonstrate use of the board when you play with the child and encourage parents to interact with the boards as well.
- Beyond Requesting: Target a variety of pragmatic purposes with augmented communication by including prepositions and verbs to support commenting and directing.
- Parent Involvement: Coach caregivers on using the materials by providing strong models, encouraging caregivers to lead portions of the session using the materials before completing taking over, and helping support the use of materials in the home (Romski et al., 2010).
Are you wondering if your child could benefit from an augmented language intervention approach? Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our speech-language pathologists to find out if this approach is right for your child.
Sounding Board. Free augmented communication application. Available on iTunes.
PrAACtical AAC. Website with great AAC ideas
Speaking of Speech. Pre-Made Language Boards
Photos by Kimberly Gilland Al-Baghly