Most of us may have had our reservations while starting teletherapy, even as it became obvious that in-person sessions may no longer be an option. Parents were uncertain and so were professionals about the efficacy of remote AAC therapy. But leave it to the AAC experts and diligent parents to figure out ways to support the learning of communicators at home. Thanks to some ingenious ideas, AAC users and their families are gradually beginning to appreciate the several advantages teletherapy brings.
There are undeniably a few limitations with remote AAC therapy. Aided Language input can be difficult. Holding the attention of a communicator can also be a challenge. However, these challenges have inspired professionals to come up with the most innovative ideas and engaging activities. Now that we are a few months into virtual sessions, we can see a few ways that teletherapy brings the best out of communicators.
Making the Most of Communicator’s Interests
The learner’s favorite board game or superhero may have been used by professionals for fun language learning activities at school. But following the lead of the communicator can be easier when they are at home. It also gives us an opportunity to build language in natural settings and contexts.
If the learner isn’t the least bit interested to look at the screen and wants to go play with their new toy train set, we can by all means allow that. It just presents another opportunity for us to build communication.
“Want to play?”
If the learner wants to break into an impromptu dance, we can gleefully build language using that opportunity.
More Parental Involvement
This is probably the biggest upside of teletherapy. Families get to be an integral part of the sessions. Professionals too get a chance to educate communication partners. And we all know how an informed communication partner can support an AAC user’s progress more effectively.
Getting families involved can also motivate communicators more. The grandmother who had been unsure of how to use AAC can now be part of shared reading activities during teletherapy. If she goes on to apply the strategies while reading bedtime stories, the communicator gets more AAC learning doing what they love.
Communication Opportunities Galore
The huge grandfather clock in the living room and the learner’s favourite tree in the backyard – all these can lead to learning opportunities in teletherapy.
If the pet doesn’t want to be left out of the fun, we can include him too.
“You dog is looking at you”
“Look at him. He is jumping“
Remote therapy sessions offer a fantastic chance to learn language during mealtimes, playtime, and everyday activities. Communicators learn and absorb more when they are having fun and feel at ease. Thus, AAC teletherapy has opened up wonderful new ways to engage learners and build communication and language.
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