Augmentative Alternative

Many students with signifcant disabilities lack appropriate communication skills.  It is crucial that we teach our students with disabilities ways to express their feelings, thoughts, and prefrences.  Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) comes in many shapes, sizes, and modes.  It can be as simple as a digital picture pulled from a choice board to a high tech augmentative device. 


I use a variety of AAC devices in my classroom, depending on the ability level of my students.  Some of these devices are:

Big Mac Communicator
(single message device)

Twin Talk

Cheap Talk 4

Cheap Talk 8

Step By Step Communicator
(sequential messaging device)

Single Message Devices: 
Examples of how I use the Big Mac Communication Device in and around my classroom...


  Circle Time = Say "good morning"
State the day of the week
Say "I'm here" during attendance
Sing repeated phrase in a song
  Cafeteria = Say "thank you" to cashier
Request "more"
Say "I'm thirsy"
  Story Time = Request to "turn the page"
Read repeated line in a story
  Group Game = Say "Bingo"
Say "My Turn"
 Around School =  Say "hello" to a friend
Ask for help

Click here for 101+ ideas for using the Big Mac and other single message devices from Spectronics.


Making Choices:
Choice devices I use in my classroom include multiple Big Macs, Twin Talk, Cheap Talk 4.  I use these devices in various ways to give students choices throughout the day.

A student in my class makes a choice during circle time                   A student in Mrs.Ander's class answers yes/no during Bingo                  A student chooses a book to check out in the library

Some examples of choices my students make througout the day include, but are not limited to:

Circle Time = Choose what comes next
Pick a song to sing
Choose correct ending to a song
Choose correct answer to a question
Cafeteria = Choose eat/drink
Story Time = Sequence a story
Choose book to listen to on tape
Buddy Class = Choose correct answer to a question
Tell a joke
Give directions (first, then)
Art = Choose colors to paint with
Choose materials to glue on
Tell if they are finished or need more
Leisure = Choose an activity/toy
Choose a computer game
Choose a book to check out from library
 Group Games = Answer yes/no during Bingo game

Choice Board:

I use a choice board with a few of my students.  The board is hung in an easily accessed area of the room.  It contains picture choices of their favorite activity reinforcers.  They must ask for these activities by pulling the picture and bringing to an adult in the room.

You can also make choice boards on clipboards, binders, or poster board. 

A choice board Mrs. Anders uses in her classroom to let a student choose a leisure activity

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS):

Simple Signing:

Some of my students use simple signs to communicate basic wants/needs such as more, finished, eat, drink, potty and help.



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