Simple AAC – 4. Pause
Sometimes we can underestimate just how much time an AAC learner needs before they can respond to us. Learners with complex needs might need longer to process what you’ve said to them, or need longer to think about how to respond.
Or they might need more time to physically initiate a movement and select what they want to say, whether they are using direct access, switches, head pointers or eye gaze. This is especially true if they are learning their access method as well as learning language!
And sometimes, if we just PAUSE, we indicate to the AAC learner that it’s their turn to say something.
Pausing can also be a good way to encourage the AAC learner to be the first one to communicate, rather than always just responding to what someone else has said. Sometimes just waiting for 10 or 20 seconds can be all the help that is needed.
It can be helpful to actually count silently in your head to make sure you leave enough time. Ten seconds can feel longer than you think!
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