AAC Activities to Teach Pronouns
AAC activities to teach pronouns
Pronouns are one of the most taught grammatical aspects in children. Children start using pronouns at 12-16 months of age. According to Lanza & Flahive (2008), the pronoun development is as follows:
12-26 months – I, It
27-30 months – My, Me, Mine, You
31-34 months – Your, She, He, Yours, We
35-40 months – They, Us, Hers, His, Them, Her
41-46 months – Its, Our, Him, Myself, Yourself, Ours, Their, Theirs
Many times, you may notice that children with speech and language delays have difficulty in understanding and using these pronouns. Pronouns are a very important component of grammar. And it can be especially challenging for the AAC user to master these concepts as well. Pronouns are also known as a category of core words which makes them very important for an AAC user to use. So, let us see how we can teach pronouns using AAC activities.
Storybooks are a great way to model or teach pronouns to your child. When you want to teach some specific pronouns to your child, make sure that those same pronouns are present in the storybook. Start reading the story to your child. When you get the pronouns, model them on the AAC. Model the pronouns frequently. If your child is young, you can ask questions after reading one or two sentences. If they do not reply using the pronouns, continue to model it till they do.
Picture descriptions can be used in the same way as storybooks. In this activity, you will notice that there is more scope to ask open-ended questions. So it can be used after you use stories as stories have more structure and are enjoyed more by kids. You can, however, use this activity with older children.
Role-playing is another interesting and fun-filled way to teach pronouns. Have your child’s siblings or friends or family members enact a role play. While the characters are conversing with one another, you can model the different pronouns that you are currently teaching your child. Every time the pronoun appears verbally during the role play, remember to model it on the AAC. Ask simple ‘who’ questions like “Who bought the bananas?” Encourage your child to use the AAC to respond. If they don’t, then you can continue to model it on their device.
Routines are a very important part of a child’s day-to-day life. You can use your child’s daily routines to teach them pronouns. For example, if you chose to brush time, you can model it this way: “Now we are going to brush our teeth. Take your toothbrush and hold it (model on the AAC simultaneously as you emphasize the word) up. Then unscrew the toothpaste and squeeze it (model on the AAC simultaneously as you emphasize the word) out”. In this way, you have multiple opportunities to teach pronouns. A very important point to remember here is that routines are something that is very much real and using routines gives the best possible understanding to your child as it is the most naturalistic activity that they do. So whether it is bath time or mealtime, use routines!!
Just like routines, play activities are one of the most naturalistic environments for children. And you can use AAC activities during playtime to teach pronouns to children as well.
So play basically is child-directed. So your child is going to pick an activity of their choice. For example, let’s say they picked up a female doll. This would be the perfect opportunity to use the pronouns ‘she, her’. You can say: “Oh she is wearing a pink dress. Would you like to change her dress to a blue one?” Or if you are playing with a ball, you can model the words ‘it, me, I, and you’ by saying “Pass the ball to me. Now, I am going to roll it back to you.”
So these were just some of the many AAC activities that you can do to teach pronouns to children. Always remember to do these activities as instructed by your child’s speech-language pathologist. For more activities using AAC, click here: Games for AAC users