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What it is

Modeling demonstrates an effective way of working with, interacting with and supporting an individual who uses AAC. It may also include an example of an activity, task or interaction. Using modeling as a teaching strategy has many advantages, some of which include:

  • Providing a less intrusive teaching strategy
  • Helping an individual using AAC facilitate friendships and conversations in and out of class
  • Giving the student an example of how to perform an activity – in part or in its entirety
  • Clarifying the expectations of an activity
  • Giving individuals using AAC ideas on how to communicate and interact
  • Prompting others to interact and helping others understand how an individual using AAC is able to communicate
  • Providing a non-intrusive, non-threatening, real-time strategy
  • Allowing time to observe and process a skill before attempting it

What it's not

Modeling is not doing the task for the student!

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How it works

Be aware of opportunities to model:

  • With the student or with a partner (teacher, parent, peer, etc.)
  • Out on the playground chatting or playing, hanging out with peers
  • In class working on assignments
  • With another teacher who is unfamiliar with your student
  • Visiting someone familiar to the student, but who doesn’t quite know how to initiate a conversation

Picture it…. What are some ways you can model the interaction so the student is included and participating in the interaction?

  • Include the student when explaining something about the student to someone else. This way, the student isnít just being "talked about," but is part of the conversation
  • Engage the student through questions, thoughts, comments
  • Use age-appropriate language (i.e., you would explain things differently to a kindergartner versus a middle-schooler)
  • Pay attention to cues from student/adult to know when to adjust your strategies

The speech-language pathologist models a few communication strategy options for Ria.

Take a look at a sample script about modeling for communication partners.

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