Involving Communication 

Partners in AAC

At Lingraphica, we’ve learned that involving a family member or other communication partner in AAC device training is one of the biggest factors that increases success.

Many communication partners want their loved one to succeed, but also feel overwhelmed with their caregiving responsibilities. Lingraphica’s caregiver report found that the vast majority of caregivers of people with aphasia reported significant challenges in communicating with their loved one, adjusting to their dependence, motivating their loved one, and finding time for self-care. Despite good intentions, many communication partners might feel like they don’t have time to learn to use AAC. You can help involve them in the process and motivate them with these tips:

Show them how implementing an AAC device will help solve their challenges, by increasing communication and decreasing their loved one’s dependence on them

Set expectations: the device is a tool for the patient and their communication partner, not the patient alone

Teach AAC strategies for the communication partner, including:

  • Setting up the environment (reducing background noise, etc.)
  • Allowing time for user to create a message
  • Confirm understanding and ask clarifying questions
  • Be persistent when breakdowns occur. For example, the communication partner can say, “I really want to know what you’re trying to tell me. Let’s work together to figure it out.”

Assign programming homework: make the communication partner an active player with the device

Presume positive intentions. Even when a communication partner is less involved or not using appropriate communication strategies, assume that they want to learn and are here because they want their loved one to succeed

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