LAMP at home – beyond the therapy session
Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in supporting communication development, as much for a child who uses AAC as one who does not. In LAMP intervention, it can be challenging to balance everything, and many find themselves in the same situation… “My child uses his device really well in speech therapy, but doesn’t use it at home!”.
So, what can we do?
- Make sure we are meeting all 5 elements to form Language Connections
- Choose activities/routines
- Model language
When we look at the ‘5 elements of LAMP’, it can be easy to assume that it is only Speech Pathologists who need to remember these. However, paying attention to the elements at home will help to improve communication and ultimately, language learning.
Readiness to Learn
- Notice arousal levels – is your child over- or under-stimulated?
- What helps them to calm down? (weighted blanket, swing, a big hug)
- What helps them to wake up? (swing, food, trampoline)
- An Occupational Therapist might be useful here- they can provide information on setting up a sensory-rich environment at home
- What does your child like doing?
- Are there particular games/toys that you could join in with? A younger child might like people games like “row row your boat”; an older child might like throwing a ball or bowling
- What daily routines do they enjoy? If they have limited interests, find a way to join in
- Follow your child’s lead!!
Consistent and Unique Motor Patterns
- Remember- there is only one spot for each word
- Don’t move buttons around or add duplicates
- Check with your Speech Pathologist where the best spot is to add personalized vocabulary (on the LAMP WFL app or on an Accent device)
- Make sure the volume is up
- Is the device lagging? If so, it might be time for an upgrade or software update.
- Respond to everything your child says in a natural way
- You don’t have to give them what they want to respond in a natural way. For example, “chocolate” doesn’t always mean they get a chocolate- but we could say I like chocolate too! or no chocolate left!
Choose relevant activities/routines and learn the vocabulary
In line with Shared Focus, think about what your child enjoys doing. You can build language into any daily activity/routine, as well as favourite toys/games. The more enticing it is, the more likely your child is to engage. Here are some examples:
- Reading a book
- Outdoor play
- Bath time
- Arts and crafts
It might be helpful to use a template such as the one pictured, to help you brainstorm some words you could work on in a specific activity or routine. Click here for some more examples, and a blank copy. This template helps us to choose a range of words, rather than just nouns.
Once you have come up with your words, you can create a smart chart in NuVoice PASS software. This is a great way to learn where the words are.
Some other ways to practice:
- Use Vocabulary Builder to hide words, so that only the relevant words are showing (Accent, LR8, and LAMP WFL app)
- Use Word Finder (Accent, LR8, and LAMP WFL app)
- Practise the motor patterns on the device, or on PASS software
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s helpful for your child to see you struggling to find a word, and problem-solving.
Have the device available all the time, and Model as much as possible!
The first step to good modelling is making sure the device is out and charged all the time. Some people like to have a routine of charging the device on the kitchen bench each evening. You can also get car charger for some devices when on the move. This will make it easier to build Aided Language Modelling into your day without having to think too much about getting the device out. Check out this blog for more information on Aided Language Modelling.
This video is a great visual for the importance of modelling on the system we want an individual to learn to use.
For additional information, resources & practical tips on aided language stimulation and modelling, see our previous blog post on Top Tips for Communication Partners.