When we train our clients to use their AAC devices, we will need something to talk about. We need settings where our clients can develop their communicative, linguistic and social pragmatic competence, not just the operational competence of using the AAC device. For younger children, often activities such as drawing, pretend-play with dolls, bubbles and arts and crafts activities are used. For adults, we may use role play activities or conversations. However, for young adults or teenagers, it is often a challenge finding an appropriate tool or topic which we could use in AAC Training.
Adolescent individuals may find activities which younger children like boring and even demeaning. This was my challenge when I started seeing 15 year old Dave, who communicates with Proloquo 2 Go. He was definitely not interested in bubbles or dolls!
I got the ‘Hero Creator’ App information from the Sped App Wiki created and linked on the website of AAC expert Caroline Musselwhite. The Sped App Wiki contains loads of Apps that can be downloaded and also suggestions on how you can use them to facilitate different functions of communication (e.g. Social Communication, Asking Questions, etc). Apps are fairly inexpensive and can be easily downloaded.
The Hero Creator enables an individual to create Super Heroes which are realistic and adult like. Super Heroes look more like something that came out of a comic book rather than a cartoon. The individual has to choose the various parts of the Super Heroes outfit including his face, arms, chest and whether he has a cape. The user would also need to choose the colours of the different elements. Users can also give their heroes different superpowers, such as flight and frost channelling etc.
Dave spent 45 minutes chatting about what type of features he wanted his Super Hero to have and he had lots of opportunities to use his Proloquo2Go. Here are some of the sentences that he created about his Super Hero, Myanmar.
”I want long hair and a blue body”, “My Hero can fly and control ice”, ”He has long arms”, “Cool”, “Strong”, “Brave”.
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