If you want your adult clients with speech and language impairments to improve communication skills, begin by carefully considering some short-term goals needed to achieve “communication competence.”
The goal of communication—whether via AAC, verbal, written, hand-drawn or gestured modalities—is to connect with others.
To meet the goal of communication competence while using an AAC device, there are typically four areas of skills to address: operational, linguistic, social, and strategic competencies. The goals that you set surrounding these competencies should be targeted in concert and should be SMART: Specific (and personal to the client), Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
First, let’s take a look at the communication competencies and what relates to each as they pertain to AAC devices.