Prerequisites for the Introduction of AAC

Social environment

  • A desire to communicate
  • Opportunities to use an AAC system create motivation to engage in communication and social integration
  • Communicative partners need to be committed to encouraging the use of the communication aid
  • An appreciation of turn taking is required

Cognitive and language skills

  • Appreciation that a symbol stands for a concept, word or phrase and the ability to discriminate between symbols.
  • An ability to scan between symbols (can be developed using low tech systems such as symbol books).
  • A reasonable level of attention and listening skills
  • A basic comprehension level

Physical skills

  • A form of access via consistent body movement e.g. eye pointing, head movement, hand movement
  • An understanding of cause and effect

More complex AAC systems, with words stored by topic, require the pupil to have categorisation skills.

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Last updated: 28 October 2015

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