Having fun with YouTube and AAC

I am always exploring fun and naturalistic ways to model and teach language and AAC use. A few moons ago (ok about 12-13 years), I was introduced to using YouTube videos for expanding utterances with AAC.  My kids were so engaged and we had fun.  I found that it was perfect for moving beyond single-word utterances no matter the communication modality.

I use YouTube videos for a couple of different purposes:  The first is just as a fun way to model with their AAC devices and comment on funny or interesting videos.  This can be with single-word or multi-word utterances.  The second is to target SV/VO and SVO utterances.  SVO stands for subject, verb, and object.  It is one of the building blocks for a sentence.  When working on expanding utterances whether with verbal speech or an AAC device I use an SVO framework.  I don’t worry or add filler words such as a, and, the, etc. at first, as this is something that will come later when appropriate for the individual.

Below are some of the ways that I build lists for working on building utterances using an AAC device and/or verbal speech.

✅ Building your list

Choose your targets:

Will you be targeting specific verbs, subjects, or objects?  Pick activities that are functional and meaningful.

Some early verb targets:  eat, drink, run, jump, swim, swing, skate, cut, write/color, build, walk, type, wash, etc.
Subjects:  boy, girl, teacher, nurse, emergency workers, animals, etc. 

In my next post, I will share how you can make your own YouTube videos.  

How I set up my lists for practicing SVO (Subject +Verb+Object) utterances.

Same verb but with different subjects: For example, I have a swim list. This includes different people and animals swimming. My list includes the following subjects: girl, baby, boy, elephant, dog, and cat. The kids love the ones where the elephant and cat are swimming.
Different verbs but with the same subjects: So I love dogs and most of my students love dogs, so I created a list with dogs doing all kinds of things from jumping on a trampoline to sleeping on a bed. The kids get a kick out of the one where the dog is jumping and flipping all around!!!
Mixed list:  With a variety of verbs and subjects.  So my mixed list includes people and animals doing everything from swimming to reading.

✅ Building a list allows you to focus on specific verbs or subjects. It also allows you to make sure that the videos are appropriate. I won’t even tell you the videos that came up when I searched for “washing car”.

❤️ What I love about using YouTube videos is that you can create conversations around something that kiddos typically love to do.  It is a typical part of our day.   It allows for tons of modeling, commenting, and questions!

❓ What are some verbs and lists you would create?  Send me an email at agiftofspeech@gmail.com and let me know!!!