• Melissa Donovan

What Did He Say?

Why is it when a speaking toddler puts together a string of random words or sounds, we the communication partner go with it. The child can be saying the most ridiculous nonsensical thing and we acknowledge it, we may try to get more information, or we even may just laugh. Why when our non-verbal child who is learning an AAC system begins putting nonsensical random words together, we think “they are playing with it”, “He doesn’t know what to do with that thing”, “no, find the word ______”. Listen everyone we need to give our non-verbal AAC Learners the same opportunities to play with and to learn language just as their speaking peers. We need to acknowledge these random (or what may seem random but are not) words and attribute meaning, expand on them, and respond to them. Giving meaning and responding to our AAC users “babbling” or “exploring” will push them to learn more language and give them the power to build their language skills. Let our AAC users play with language, isn’t that how we all learned to speak to?






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