The Center for AAC and Autism

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Shared Focus

When introducing an AAC device, the communication partner should follow the child’s lead and introduce and expand vocabulary around the child’s interests. When the child chooses the activity, he is more likely to remain engaged. Spontaneous, child-led intervention encourages the child to communicate naturally. Natural communication tends to generalize more readily than when vocabulary is taught in structured, compliance biased activities. Communication should be rewarding for the child and not feel like work. As the non-verbal individual begins to understand the power of communication, you will typically see increased joint-attention and engagement.