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Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

Using pre-made pages on your communication device for holiday communicating

Article by: Stephanie Ekis, MS, CCC-SLP

Many children with autism use augmentative communication devices to support everyday communication as well as language and literacy learning development.  These device do not replace speech or impede natural speech development, they simply provide supports for those children who struggle with communication and social situations.

HINT:  To learn more about augmentative communication, read the What is AAC and who can use it? article on the DynaVox Implementation Toolkit.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is important to prepare your child for functional communication and give them many opportunities to practice their skills.  If your child is currently using a DynaVox V+ or Maestro, there are many pre-made communication pages already on your system that can support your child during the holiday season.

Programming hints: 

  • Add the child’s favorite candy treats.
  • Program silly trick-or-treat rhymes.
  • Add Halloween costume ideas and let the child choose their favorite.

* Keep in mind that the child may not take their device with them when they participate in trick-or-treat, but they can use the Halloween pages to tell others about their experience.  They can also use the pages prior to Halloween to help them know what to expect.

Programming hints: 

  • Program a Thanksgiving prayer or speech.
  • Add accolades to the cook (e.g., “Grandma, this food is delicious!”).
  • Add unique family traditions.

Programming hints: 

  • Program messages about lighting the Menorah each night.
  • Program the dreidle rules and numbers for counting out coins (or link to the numbers popup already in the system).
  • Add “guesses” on the gift popup (e.g., “I think it is a game.”)
  • Add unique family traditions.


Programming hints: 

  • Add a toy wish list or the type of cookies to leave out on the cookie/milk/letter popup.

Hint:  Use the food pages to create a shopping list for baking holiday treats!

Hint:  Use the Print feature to print out a holiday wish list letter.

  • Add items needed to decorate the tree (e.g., lights) on the Christmas tree popup.
  • Add “guesses” on the gift popup (e.g., “I think it is a DVD.”)
  • Add unique family traditions.

HINT: You can also use the winter and fall pages for seasonal instruction activities.

HINT:    You will find that many of the popup pages do not have vocabulary programmed into the buttons.  These buttons were purposely left blank so that you can add the vocabulary that is specific to your child’s family holiday traditions and events.

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