Monday, January 09, 2023

Free Social Stories About Using an AAC Device

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A collection of free social stories about using an AAC device or iPad to communicate. Printable and video social stories for kids are included below.

Some people don't use mouth words to speak. They might be considered nonspeaking or minimally speaking. Or they might just like to supplement with alternative forms of communication in certain situations and it's a supplement to their verbal speech or mouth words. 

Instead, they might rely on other forms of communication other than oral speech, such as sign language, letter boards, technology, and/or something else entirely. These other forms of communication are called augmentative and alternative communication or AAC. 

Below you will find a variety of free social stories about using an AAC device. You can use these stories to introduce your child (or client, if you're a therapist) to using AAC to communicate.

Or you might even use a social story or two from this list with a child's siblings or classmates to explain different forms of communication to them.

Whatever the reason, I hope you find these AAC social stories useful, no matter who your target audience is.

Free social stories about using an AAC device to communicate

Free Social Stories About Using an AAC Device

Have you been looking for a social story about using an AAC device? Then look no further than these free printable social stories about AAC device use. Some require you to have a Teachers Pay Teachers account (which is free!) before you can download them.

I've rounded up some options for you to explore. That way you can find the best AAC related social story for you and your child. Or you can simply use ideas from different stories below to write your own custom story (free social story templates here to help).

Please note that just because a social story is listed here does not mean I endorse its content. After all, many social stories tend to be poorly written and/or teach autistic masking. Besides, I haven't read all of these stories word for word myself. So please read through the stories carefully before using them with your child.

It's also worth noting that there seems to be lots of really great paid options out there as well. The focus here, however, is purely on free social stories.

1. I Use my Device to Talk Social Story from AT4Kids on TPT - This story talks about rules for using the device and include things like not throwing it. There is also a built-in communication board to practice modeling AAC skills. This story uses colorful clipart.

2. Using AAC Device Social Story from Kate O'Malley on TPT - This story highlights that people can communicate and talk in different ways and then explains what an AAC device is. It includes colorful clipart.

3. AAC Device Care Social Story from AAC Hub on TPT - It looks like this story is available as a PowerPoint so you should be able to edit it. Which might be a good thing because this story looks very busy visually and some of the text in the preview images isn't great. But it does include a mix of clipart and photos.

4. AAC Core Word Social Story (Like/Don't Like) from Stephanie Zapata on TPT - Here's a story that focuses on teaching core words/concepts. It uses boardmaker symbols and full color photos. It apparently comes as a Word document so you should be able to edit it too.

5. What are Talkers For? An AAC Communication Device Social Story from ESE AAC on TPT - This story uses a mix of clipart and photos to discuss why some people use an AAC device or talker. It's a Word document so, again, you should be able to edit it.

6. Social Story: Using Your AAC Device from Divergent DeafEd on TPT - This story uses symbols and some simple text. It looks like a pretty basic story.

7. Simple iPad Social Story from Korynn a SLP on TPT - Here's a super simple one page social story about iPad/AAC ownership. It covers what it's for, how to carry it, and where to take it. There is a mix of clipart, symbols, and photos used to accompany the text.

8. Using My AAC Device Social Story on Boardmaker Online - I'm not sure if you can actually download a PDF version on this website or not. However, you can preview all the slides and read the full story directly on the website.

9. I Can Take My Device Home Social Story on Boardmaker Online - Again, not sure if you can actually download this story or not, but you can read the full story directly on the website.

10. Social Story: Taking Care of My Speech Device from Talk to Me Technologies - You have to subscribe to get this free social story, but it looks like it might be a good one. It uses nice colorful clipart.

Video Social Stories About AAC Device Use

Here are a few video social stories about using an AAC device. You can use these in teletherapy sessions, social skills groups, classroom settings, and/or at home. Videos are always a great alternative to printing off a story.

Like the stories above, some of the wording in these videos aren't always great. But I wanted to make sure you had lots of different options for teaching your child about AAC devices.

I usually opt for stories with text already included in the video (to support hyperlexic learners), but I thought this video about a classmate's use of AAC was too important not to include. Just remember to turn on the closed captions for our hyperlexic learners.

Finally, I thought this story might be a good one to include here as well. You could share it with a child's friends or extended family members about how they can get involved in the modeling process.

A Note on AAC Use for Gestalt Language Processors

Remember, hyperlexic learners are gestalt language processors so they learn language differently. So you will have to set up and use their AAC devices a bit differently. That might also mean that you have to modify the above social stories to factor in this different way of developing language.

And speaking of AAC use for gestalt language processors, you might be interested to know that the Meaningful Speech team is releasing a course all about AAC and gestalt language processing in February 2023. 

If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend checking out the Meaningful Speech course and their Gestalt Language Processing Handbook and getting on their waitlist for this new AAC course. Use coupon code DYAN to save 5% on the handbook or course.

Gestalt Language Processing Handbook & course available from Meaningful Speech

Learn more about the Gestalt Language Processing Handbook & Course

Either way, I hope you found this collection of free social stories about using an AAC device helpful. They're a great way to start introducing your child or client to using AAC to communicate.

Free social stories about using an AAC device to communicate