How To Introduce an AAC Device

So you’ve received the trial AAC device. Lingraphica pre-customized it with your patient’s personal info, and you’re ready to introduce it in your next session. Here are some ideas for getting started:

Stay in communication mode

It can be tempting to start “testing” your patient by asking them to find an icon. Although this can give you some information, it isn’t motivating for the patient. Instead, navigate to a pre-programmed page of interest and use it as a communication tool. For instance, open up the page of football teams and ask your patient who her favorite team is. Then tell her who yours is. Other examples are favorite pizza toppings or states they’ve traveled to. Instead of testing, your patient is engaging with the device for meaningful communication.

Personalize and simplify

Start right away with adding in even more personalized icons. Snap pictures of the patient, any family that came along, and yourself to make icons. Use the patient’s life participation goals to make new folders. Make sure to personalize the settings too – select a new voice, make the icons bigger, or change the background color. Make sure to gauge if the patient is overwhelmed. Delete icons and folders as needed – it’s always better to start simple and build success and confidence. Adding folders back in is simple as soon as your patient is ready.

Break the ice

It’s okay to acknowledge that using a device is new and can feel weird. Program in a joke or a personal catchphrase to break the ice and get everyone laughing. For patients who are hesitant to use the device to communicate, introduce it as a therapy tool first to get them comfortable interacting with it.


Make sure to add at least one folder that’s fun for the patient to communicate about – a hobby, a favorite TV show, or an Alexa command for their favorite song.

Set expectations

Start counseling right away with the patient and their family. Educate them that the device is a powerful tool, but it won’t solve all communication difficulties. Communication breakdowns will likely still occur, but the device can help work through them. Customization is a long term process- it’s not going to be perfect immediately.

Learn More About AAC

The Lingraphica Learning Portal offers free, on-demand courses that are designed to provide fundamental information for SLPs who are new to Lingraphica and high-tech AAC. Click below to learn more and complete the courses.

Watch The Courses

Lingraphica Can Help

Lingraphica offers free one-on-one consultations for SLPs who have someone on caseload who might be a good fit for an AAC device but aren’t entirely sure where to start. Call us at 866-570-8775 or visit the link below to get started.

Schedule a Free Consultation