There are many forms of paper based AAC (sometimes referred to as 'low tech' AAC) that can be used to effectively support a child's communication.
A child would need to be assessed to determine the most suitable type of AAC to support their needs. Considerations will be made depending on the stage of language development the child is working at, how much understanding of speech they have and the context that they will be using it in. The child's physical ability also needs careful consideration when choosing the right resource.
All of this information helps to build a personal resource that can be effectively used by the child/young person on a daily basis.
Here are some examples of paper based AAC:
PODD (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication book
PODD is a way of organising whole-word and symbol vocabulary in a communication book or speech generating device to support expression and understanding of language for people with complex communication needs,
The aim of a PODD is to provide vocabulary for use in multiple environments, with a range of messages, across a range of topics. It is designed to be a tool in someone’s ‘toolbox of communication methods’ that is useful all the time. Selection of words and symbols in the PODD can be made by pointing, looking or other combinations of methods.
Communication methods we use day-to-day include speech, gestures, pointing, facial expressions and writing, and we tend to choose whichever method is most effective for each situation. In the same way, a person with complex communication needs may use a number of different methods to communicate including a PODD, depending on what is most efficient method for them at the time.
For further information, please visit:
PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
PECS is a unique alternative/augmentative communication system and consists of six phases that begin by teaching an individual to give a single picture of a desired item or action to a “communicative partner” who immediately honours the exchange as a request. The system goes on to teach discrimination of pictures and how to put them together in sentences. In the more advanced phases, individuals are taught to use modifiers, answer questions and comment.
The primary goal of PECS is to teach functional communication. Research has shown that some learners using PECS also develop speech. Others may transition to a speech generating device (SGD).
For more information, including details of the six phases of PECS, please visit:
Core first communication books
These communication books are a great introduction to language for symbol-supported communicators before they get their device. Or keep them on hand as a simple solution to be used in the car, at the playground, near the pool, or anywhere else it might be inconvenient to use a device. Core First Communication Books are available to download via Pathways for Core First: