What do you do if the child you’re working with isn’t interested in using his AAC system or device?  In this video, I’m answering a question about a boy who won’t use his AAC device and sharing my tips on how to help an unmotivated child become more interested in using his device.

Click to Download – Free AAC Cheat Sheet

Question: Child Won’t Use his AAC Device

7-yr-old with Down Syndrome who uses his AAC device to watch videos, not motivated to use it, parents not motivated to help him (leave it at school), being demoted at school for non-cooperation

What I Would Try:

  • Make sure the child has a dedicated AAC device.  That may mean getting a new device just for AAC.
  • Start by choosing one thing that Mom and you agree to use it for at home that will be highly motivating for the child (like asking to watch his videos).
  • Next, have Mom explain a time of the day or a situation that is especially hard for her to navigate due to communication problems (like bad behaviors, troublesome transitions, etc.) and find a way to make that time easier using the communication device (make it easier for child to get his needs met and easier for Mom, as well).
  • In the meantime, see if you can consult with his school on how AAC could be used more successfully to support him in the classroom.  Again, you’re going to have to find something that the child will DEFINITELY be motivated to communicate and things that will make the classroom run more smoothly, as well.  Look at inappropriate behaviors and find ways to replace them with use of the AAC device:

How to Stop Avoidance Behaviors:


How to Use Replacement Behaviors:



Free AAC Cheat Sheet:

Would you like a free cheat sheet that includes information about selecting and using AAC with a child?  Click the button below to download my free cheat sheet:

Click to Download – Free AAC Cheat Sheet

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