AAC Customization for Gestalt Language Processors

A gestalt language processing style should be considered during an AAC eval, when customizing AAC & during implementation. The power of truly embracing and incorporating individual interests into an AAC system and AAC implementation plus customizing for unique needs cannot be overstated. It is a neurodiversity affirming practice that builds connections, fosters AAC ownership, resonates with them and allows for authentic communication…

Read this post by a parent on the Neuromess Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/101795887897310/posts/pfbid02d4EL2x9CQ4iivQu1BCzM6wKiWoPEhpom49eeMvwhZmpmDHcFD2EirioDKBJgsBrrl/?d=n

AAC Customization “Do”:

  • Involve the AAC user in the customization process
  • Only add things that are meaningful to that individual
  • Consider the function of the gestalts, the contexts in which they are used & the organization/design of that app when adding content
  • Consider the opportunity to embrace the interests of that individual in customizing an AAC system that resonates with them. Some things might be added for self-regulation and the pure joy that they bring. Individuals with some speech may script for these reasons. AAC users deserve the opportunity to do this via AAC
  • Be open to using more than one AAC option to meet the needs. We all use “multimodal communication”

AAC Customization “Don’t”:

  • Don’t alter the inherent structure or features of an AAC app unless it’s to meet specific sensory or access needs
  • Don’t replace Core Words or other items on the Home Screen with gestalts
  • Don’t add things just because you saw someone post about adding a particular phrase or video. There is no “standard set” of gestalts
  • Don’t delete a gestalt/button once that gestalt has been mitigated
  • Don’t switch to a different AAC system unless an AAC eval with feature matching and trial of options has been completed and there is a specific reason to change. There is no one “best” AAC option for anyone regardless of whether they are a Gestalt or Analytic Language Processor

Want to learn more about AAC feature matching (comparing features and matching them to an individual’s needs)? Check out the three feature matching resources: https://bit.ly/3aacFeatureMatchingResources. The feature matching resource for the symbol-based AAC apps includes a free supplemental handout “Unique Features in Symbol-Based AAC Apps to Support Gestalt Language Processors”. It has info related to all 12 apps + additional info about features in 8 free and affordable symbol-based AAC apps (mainly iOS, some Android and a couple of Windows) priced $2.99 or less.

Free handout: Resource Roundup: Gestalt Language Processing & AAC, https://bit.ly/GLPandAAC

The 2022 AAC in the Cloud free online conference has two sessions related to GLP & AAC:



Have a question? The best way to reach me is via Facebook messaging over on my OMazing Kids page: https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsAAC/

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC, OMazing Kids AAC Consulting

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Clipart Credit: Drawn to AAC: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/AAC-Teachers-and-Learners-7475352