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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC stands for ‘Augmentative and Alternative Communication’. This means the use of a communication method or system to help someone to communicate effectively when spoken language is difficult.

AAC includes a wide range of tools to support communication. This includes e.g. symbol boards, communication books, electronic devices and the use of signs and gesture.

Communication books

Communication books come with a variety of layouts and sizes depending on the need of the individuals. The handouts below share some examples of different stages of communication books and examples of how they can be used. Please note these are just a few examples and there are lots of possibilities of different types of books which can be considered. Your child’s speech and language therapist will help to consider which options might be a good fit for your child.

Core Words

Core words are the words which make up most of what we often say (e.g. I, you, go, stop, more, want, like, no).

For children who are starting to use AAC these are the words which are helpful to teach your child first. Learning these words will help your child communicate for lots of different reasons.

Take a look at the handouts below for ideas around how to teach your child these words within your everyday activities.

Useful links:

Please explore the links below to look at videos, advice and resources and find out about relevant services and charities that can help to support you and your child.