AAC and Teletherapy
AAC teletherapy is a great place to start if you want to provide virtual support for AAC learners and help them get the most out of their communication tools.
SLP Andrea from our US team has put together a list of useful AAC resources that you can use for teletherapy with your clients, and some tips on structuring your sessions.
Accessing your student’s language system
Assuming you have selected your virtual platform of choice, the first step is to access your AAC learner’s software.
On your student’s Speech Generating Device (SGD) they will likely be using an AAC platform like Grid 3 or Grid for iPad, with a specific language system. This could be a particular grid set like Super Core, Voco Chat or PODD.
To be able to support the AAC learner you will also require full access to the same language system on your laptop or iPad – for familiarity, modelling and remote editing purposes.
If you are a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the US we can provide you with an evaluator license for Grid 3 or Grid for iPad. All you need to do is complete the form on our website with your contact details and ASHA number. One of our US product specialists will be in touch with your license and happy to help you get set up.
If you have any questions or need support, get in touch with out US team via firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for modelling AAC in teletherapy
The next step is explore the content your student is using and get familiar with their software. If your student is using Grid AAC software, there are some useful videos on our YouTube channel that will show you how different grid sets work, and how you can edit and personalize content.
During your teletherapy sessions it is important to lead by example, by modelling words, phrases, navigation and more as you share your screen.
A useful feature of Grid software is the highlighting cells function, which you can turn on in Settings. This will give the AAC learner visual feedback while you model and emphasize the cells you are selecting.
You can choose to mimic the highlight color your AAC learner uses on their device, or even let them choose which color you use. In the example below I’ve chosen to use purple as my highlight.
Consider sharing sound while screensharing so that the AAC learner can hear the sounds of the cells you are selecting. If this is appropriate for their needs, they will be able to hear the target words and phrases you are modelling during your sessions, from requesting to commenting, labelling, socializing and more.
Is the AAC learner’s family/caregiver familiar confidence with their SGD? It might be beneficial to spend some time at the beginning or end of the teletherapy session doing some parent coaching. Demonstrate how you have been modelling target words and phrases and give them the confidence to model themselves during everyday activities with the AAC learner.
Printing personalized grids
Let the AAC user’s family and caregivers know that they can access learning resources and print low tech communication boards here.
They can also print directly from the user’s software by adding a printer in Settings. This means they can use personalised pages from the AAC learner’s grid sets for modelling relevant words and phrases.
Remote Editing is a super useful feature of Grid software. The concept is very similar to editing or personalizing your own grid sets.
The person using AAC or their caregivers can give you access to their grid sets by adding you as a remote editor in their software using the email address associated with your Smartbox account. They will need to go to:
Settings > Remote Editing > Enter your login information > choose the user you are editing
Now you can make changes to their grid set! Any changes you make will appear when both users are connected to WiFi. The AAC user can continue to use their grid set as usual whilst you are making any changes. When they close the grid set and re-open it, the changes will be there.
Tip: You don’t need to be using a licensed version of Grid 3 for Remote Editing. Simply download a free trial of the software and you can continue to use it for Remote Editing after the 60 day trial is over.
Check out Grid Guide for grid set information
Grid Guide is a built-in tool with information about different grid sets in the software. It will tell you more about a particular grid set, the different pages to navigate through, grids you can personalize and any other features that grid set might have.
You can access it within a grid set by going to:
Settings > Grid Guide
Our online chat is available if you need to get in touch with our Support team. You can also call us on (844) 341-7386 and select option 1.
Feel free to contact your local Product Specialist.
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