Where to Begin With AAC Device Customization

Personalizing the AAC device to be more meaningful and relevant to the user is one of the most important things you can do in a device trial. That’s why Lingraphica gets the process started by pre-customizing the device with your patient’s info before we send it out. However, as you work with your patient, you’ll want to identify additional things to customize. Here are some ideas and resources to help you get started:

Use a life participation framework. What activities does your patient want to participate in? Who do they want to communicate with? Work backwards to program in vocabulary they’ll need in order to succeed.

With the patient and/or family, identify 1-3 very specific communication activities to start. Think teachable, repeatable goals like “choose what drink you’ll have at dinner” or “say I love you to someone you love.” Measure success initially solely on these goals. Celebrate big when the patient is successful!

Not sure where to start? Use our picture-supported Interest Checklist to identify major topics that are important to your client

Think outside of the commenting and requesting box. Other types of communication your patient might want to use include venting, sharing opinions, telling jokes, or giving compliments. Need more ideas? Check out 101 Things You Can Do With an SGD 

Treating someone with aphasia? Check out the Aphasia Needs Assessment (Garrett & Beukelman, 1997) to identify areas that your patient has difficulty in, and areas of importance. Although it’s built for people with aphasia, this tool works for other speech and language impairments as well.

Memory mining: Want to help your client share life stories, but having trouble learning about their past? Use this technique to build a personalized timeline.

Use a communication log: Ask the patient and family to keep track of communication breakdowns as a homework assignment. Look for patterns and program the device with vocabulary that could help during the identified breakdowns.

Customizing is an ongoing, dynamic process. Although it can feel overwhelming, remember that your clinical consultant is available to provide personalized support based on your client’s specific situation and goals. Call on us for help!

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.

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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.

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