What is aided language input?

During aided language input, communication partners highlight symbols on the AAC system as they interact verbally with the person using AAC with a goal to teach language.
(Goosens, Crain, Elder, 1992, 1994)

Basically, you are using the device to talk to your child, just as you expect your child to use the device to talk to you and others.

How do I do it?

  • Choose target words, and activate those words on the device, as you verbally say the sentence.  when starting out, you do not need to say the whole sentence on the device.  For example, "Let's GO to the park and PLAY on the slide."  The words in capitals are the words that would be modeled on the device.


  •  Try not to focus on making modeling     about giving directions or telling your child the schedule. Instead:


I LIKE that; I think it's FUNNY; I am BORED

Ask Questions:

WHAT do you want to do?; WHERE should we EAT lunch?


I do NOT want to GO; I DON"T like that

  • Add words to what your child says.  If your child say one word, add 2-3 words.  For example, if you child says eat, model back "You LIKE to EAT THAT."


Stayed tuned for more specific strategies in using aided language input in next week's blog!

Quote from Jane Korsten, graphic by Rachel Langley
Quote from Jane Korsten, graphic by Rachel Langley
K and J

Tanya Keller

Meet Tanya, our pediatric speech language pathologist and AAC specialist. Tanya moved from Boston to San Diego. She earned her Master's degree from Emerson College in Boston, in Communication Disorders in 2004 and a second master's degree in Assistive Technology from Simmons College in Boston, in 2012. Tanya has provided speech and language services for children who have complex communication needs, using low and/or high tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with varying diagnoses. Tanya has been mentored by experts in Rett Syndrome and complex communication needs. She is PODD trained and attends the yearly assistive technology conferences. She has experience using a variety of AAC devices and working with alternative access, including eye gaze and switch use. In her free time, Tanya enjoys exploring San Diego, going to the beach and spending time with her dog.

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