Selecting vocabulary for an AAC device

When receiving an augmentative and alternative communication device with picture
symbols, the options for characters are infinite. Therefore, choosing vocabulary relevant
to your child and their environment is essential. Children use language every day to share feelings, greet
others, tell stories, comment, protest unwanted actions, ask for help, tell jokes, and request.
Choosing appropriate vocabulary is crucial to creating a dynamic device to meet a child’s
communication needs.

Core Vocabulary

Core vocabulary should make up most of the selectable symbols on a child’s device. The core vocabulary contains words that are used frequently across various contexts. These words include go, stop, more, help, like, done, and want. In addition, terms associated with daily routines like bath time (wash, bubble, dry, soap) and mealtime (eat, drink, more, done, plate, cup) are also important for creating a dynamic device.

Fringe Vocabulary

Fringe vocabulary is specific and relevant to each AAC device user. These words include animals, toys, actions, and people. A child should be able to talk about their favorite TV characters, brothers and sisters, and preferred foods. As your child grows, their device and communication options should grow. Our speech-language pathologists will work with your family to ensure your child is provided with a dynamic AAC device that facilitates communication in all environments.

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