Cambian Pengwern College recently identified three students that would benefit from the use of an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device.
All three students were receiving 1:1 therapy sessions targeting the use of their AAC devices and were seen to be making progress. However, this was unfortunately not observed in either their education or residential settings, unless accompanied by a member of the Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) team. It was determined that students appeared to be struggling to utilise the skills learnt within their sessions and apply them to everyday situations.
As a result of these finding it was agreed that in addition to the current 1:1 sessions, they would also meet as a collective where they were able to see their peers also using their communication aids and experience a wider range of activities, eg; social interaction, playing games and engaging in sessions.
The Speech and Language Therapist planned a six-week programme to further develop the students skill set consisting of playing a turn-taking vocabulary game each with a different focus. These included exploring different words, adding colours and numbers, navigating an 'All About Me page' with support, and answering questions about the students immediate environment.
Towards the end of the programme, students became more confident in navigating their devices and engaging with the buttons to communicate.
Outcomes are measured using the East Kent Outcomes Scale and all students involved have demonstrated progress in specific navigation targets and also more holistically in their engagement and interaction goals.
Students will continue using games to support the structure of sessions and move onto successfully integrating AAC devices into their education sessions.