Wednesday Mar 08, 2023

Coaching Call with Marcella: Benefits of Early AAC Intervention

This week, Rachel interviews Marcella, the mother of an autistic boy, about the journey Marcella went through to give her son access to high-tech AAC. Marcella previously reached out to Rachel for a coaching call because she was not getting a positive response about AAC when meeting with local SLPs. Marcella decided to take Rachel’s AAC Ally course and started supporting her son’s language development on her own! Marcella shares about some of the benefits of high-tech AAC for her son, including his increased vocalizations and more spontaneous communication about things like feelings.


Before the interview, Chris and Rachel chat about making their own GIF using They go over how to make a GIF, how you can make a library of GIFs, and ways that GIFs can be used to support AAC users.


Key ideas this week:


🔑 When a child says a word on their device that we think wasn’t what they meant (e.g. “I want pasta” for breakfast), we don’t want to say “no, try again”. Hearing “no” constantly can be frustrating and demotivating. Instead, you can recognize the communication attempt and respond to it with something like “Oh, OK, you can have pasta later for dinner, but what should we eat for breakfast?”. 


🔑 We need to presume potential for everyone, not just complex communicators! We should presume that we can all become better communication partners for AAC users with enough practice and effort.


🔑 Marcella’s son says a lot more words now to communicate than he did before using AAC, including saying “up” when he wants to be picked up. This is just another example that AAC helps, rather than hurts, language production.


You can find out more about Marcella and her son on Instagram at


Visit to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!


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