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AAC Vocabulary Selection

A Few Good Words: Why Core Vocabulary is Needed to Enhance Communication in Non-verbal Students

Barbara Cannon

Geor e !ason "niversity E#SE $$% &nterdisci'linary A''roaches (or Children with Sensory)!otor #isabilities

AAC Vocabulary Selection Introduction and Purpose: +his 'a'er was born the day & saw a child with severe mental retardation bein as,ed to identi(y a 'icture re'resentin the word- zucchini as 'art o( a vocabulary lesson. Each wee,- words were chosen (or the lesson based on the al'habet. +he sta(( stru led to (ind */ words startin with the letter 0- and zucchini was one that they decided u'on. +his student was not able to use symbols o( any ty'e to communicate her thou hts and needs to her teacher or her classmates. She could not choose her cu' (rom a (ield o( two real ob1ects- and she was a 'ic,y eater. &t is unli,ely that 2ucchini was a (ood that interested her. Shortly a(ter this incident- & visited the classroom o( a nonverbal hi h school student. 3e was 4uite an out oin youn man who used many vocali2ations and estures to et his 'oint across. 3is sta(( 'roudly showed me the communication noteboo, they had created (or him. +here in (ront o( me was a''ro5imately %/ 'ounds o( 6 rin binder (illed with candy wra''ers- bo5 to's and 'ictures (rom ma a2ines. &t was the most ama2in array o( nouns ever assembled- but it was only that: %/ 'ounds o( nouns. Functionally- this student was communicatin by usin a system o( rudimentary estures su''lemented by nouns. & (iled these incidents away (or (uture thou ht alon with other situations & had encountered. +hey all involved the choice o( vocabulary used to teach our nonverbal students and to construct au mentative and alternative communication systems. As & thou ht about vocabulary- another student came to mind. +his student was usin a hi h end electronic device with auditory scannin . 3e was unable to s'ea,- to create meanin (ul estures or si ns- or see symbols. +hou h he was able to use his device to choose academic answers (rom a 'a e o( o'tions 'resented to him- he had

no way to s'ea, on a variety o( sub1ects eneratively or to initiate a conversation o( his own choosin . For instancei( he were on the weather 'a e discussin the day7s weather and wanted to discuss the (act that his mother went out o( town- how could he do this8 We who use verbal s'eech do this sort o( to'ic switchin all the time and we do it e((ortlessly. Not so (or this student. For him- the e((ort to scan to a new 'a e accurately was con(usin and 'hysically ta5in . Also- should he try to scan to a new 'a e- some well meanin adult would 'robably inter(erethin,in he had hit the wron choice or that he wanted to et out o( doin his wor,. And so he whined....... &t is the one communicative o'tion always o'en to him

AAC Vocabulary Selection &n thin,in about these students- & as,ed mysel(- is there not a way to use vocabulary in such a way that a 'erson has access to sim'le yet enerative lan ua e across conte5ts8 ....Some sort o( vocabulary that does not re4uire lots o( 'hysical and co nitive e((ort to access8 ....some vocabulary that is not invented and scri'ted by others8 & (elt that the students needed a way to enerate lan ua e and communication on their own- to ta,e res'onsibility (or that communication and to use it to meet their own 'ur'oses. When one is merely 'resented with

'a es o( academic o'tions 'redominated by nouns- or social conversations 'rescribed- scri'ted and triviali2ed by the (act that they are manu(actured by another 'erson- communication is only an e5'ression o( the desires and desi ns o( the adults at the helm. 3ow- then- could nonverbal students communicate e((ectively across conte5ts usin their own chosen lan ua e without undue 'hysical and co nitive (ati ue8 +o answer those 4uestions- & be in the discussion o( core vocabulary (or nonverbal students in school environments. & will draw u'on ori inal research in the (ields o( AAC and lan ua e alon with my 'ersonal e5'eriences ained over a */ year 'eriod. & will e5'lain why & (eel stron ly that core vocabulary should be central in all low and hi h tech systems desi ned (or all nonverbal students- re ardless o( the 'hysical status- co nitive ability or a e o( the student. & believe that use o( core vocabulary can enhance communication and lan ua e learnin (or all ty'es o( nonverbal students.

What is CoreVocabulary Sim'ly 'ut- core vocabulary consists o( the basic words in any lan ua e that are needed to communicate. CrossBa,er- :lot2 and Badman ;retrieved 9//$< de(ine core as =words which are used (re4uently and across situations.=;Vocabulary section- 'ara. *< !ichael Stubbs ;*%>$< described core vocabulary more color(ully when he saidWhen 'eo'le thin, o( a lan ua e- they thin, almost inevitably o( words: vocabulary. And when they thin, o( lan ua e develo'ment- they...tend to thin, o( vocabulary enlar ement....+he notion o( e5tendin someone7s vocabulary is a 'er(ectly 'lausible one in itsel(. &t rests on the 'ower(ul- thou h sometimes ha2y- intuition that some words are sim'ler- more im'ortant or more basic than others. ;'. *< Stubbs ;*%>$< oes on to discuss the uses o( core vocabulary by sayin that the conce't o( core or basic vocabulary underlies all vocabulary teachin and is used in vocabulary lists o( various ,inds includin those (ound

AAC Vocabulary Selection in any lan ua e te5tboo,. +hese lists serve many 'ur'oses includin teachin En lish as a (orei n lan ua e(acilitatin international communication- and determinin lan ua e e5'ectations o( En lish-s'ea,in school children. ;'. 9< Core vocabulary then is not a new conce't nor is it the e5clusive domain o( lan ua e im'aired communicators. Core vocabulary is- indeed- universal. &t is also illusive. +here does not seem to be +3E C?@E V?CAB"AA@Bbut rather a (luctuatin core vocabulary that de'ends on the user and the situation. @e ardless o( the e5act words included in a core vocabulary- they are sim'le- eneral and basic. As stated by Stubbs ;*%>$<: A lan ua e is so com'le5 that selection (rom it is always one o( the (irst and most di((icult 'roblems o( anyone who wishes to teach it systematically... +o (ind the minimum number o( words that could o'erate to ether in constructions ca'able o( enterin into the reatest variety o( conte5ts has there(ore been the chie( aim o( those tryin to sim'li(y En lish (or the learner. ;'.9< &( core vocabulary is not an absolute- then- but a livin - chan in entity- how does one decide on the core vocabulary one will use8 +he com'osition o( core vocabulary has been e5tensively analy2ed. For instance- Ba,er-

3ill- and #evylder ;9///< indicate in their 'resentation at CS"N- that instructional courses at the American S'eechAan ua e 3earin association datin bac, to *%>C have been devoted to vocabulary selection. Stubbs ;*%>$< in his article on nuclear vocabulary- s'ea,s o( the 4ualities o( core vocabulary. Core- accordin to Stubbs- tends to be made u' o( verbs- demonstratives and 'ronouns because these words are a small set o( words that are enerally unchan in in our lan ua e. +his is obvious (or 'ronouns. We sim'ly don7t need another word (or you. Corehowever- also encom'asses words li,e give. +his word is considered to be a core word because it is the lowest common denominator (or a conce't. &t is the most basic word that will et a 'oint across without shadin s o( culture and conte5t. &t could be used instead o( other words li,e donate and award which are more com'le5 words with more s'eci(ic meanin s. While we can use give instead o( donate- we could not always use donate instead o( give. ?ne would donate a car but would not donate a bac,rub- whereas one is e4ually able to give either a car or a bac,rub. +his is why give is a core word and donate is not. Similarly- child would be a 'otential core word because o( its use(ulness in eneral conversation while kid would not be. ;'.$<

AAC Vocabulary Selection

+he (ollowin list o( words 'resented by Stubbs ;*%>$< are (rom Collins En lish #ictionary. +his list counts the di((erent senses o( individual words re ardless o( 'art o( s'eech. From this list- it is easy to choose words that are candidates (or a core vocabulary. ;'. %< run >6- s'rint 6 wal, 9D- saunter 6- stroll 6 stron 9/- 'otent C- 'ower(ul D ive 9%- award D- donate * (at *%- stout C- obese * ,ill *%- murder >- e5ecute >- assassinate 9 thin %- slim 6- svelte 9- emaciate * house 9>- mansion C- villa 6- bun alow 9 (ather *D- 'aternal 6 child %- ,id C ; '. %< +he 4uestion now becomes why would we attem't to (ind and use a core vocabulary (or our non verbal communicators8 ?ne o( the main reasons can be leaned (rom loo,in at the list above which hints at the (act that with a (ew ,ey words much can be said. For instance- by usin the word strong, one can et the 'oint o( powerful across. +he conte5t in which the word is used turns it miraculously into the (orm intended. +his ha''ens in the mind o( the listener who ta,es the word strong and ives it the 'ro'er meanin - powerful- based on the discussion. &n so doin - the au mented communicator saves time and ener y but still 'artici'ates in a color(ul communicative lan ua e e5'erience. !ore im'ortant is the (act that core vocabulary crosses environments. ;Ba,er- 3ill- #evylder- 9///- '. 9< +his means that students can use a (ew words to create many thou hts re ardless o( where they are or who they are with. +hese (ew core words can hel' the au mented communicator enerate novel utterances instead o( 'hrases scri'ted by teachers and (amily. Finally- the same (ew words can be used to tele ra'h a lon er messa e. For students with 'hysical disabilitiesthe ability to use a very little 'hysical e((ort to say as much as 'ossible is crucial. +he case (or the use o( core vocabulary in au mentin communication (or nonverbal and 'hysically disabled s'ea,ers is most elo4uently made by Bruce Ba,er and :atya 3ill. Both are researchers in the (ield o( AAC o( lon

AAC Vocabulary Selection standin duration and are em'loyed by both accredited universities and by the Erent,e @omich Com'any- a

manu(acturer o( devices which use core vocabulary as a basic or ani2in unit. +heir ideas should be included in any discussion o( the use o( core vocabulary. Ba,er and 3ill 'resentin in the year 9/// at CS"N- s'ea, o( the (act that current 'ractices in AAC have one away (rom the conce'ts o( core vocabulary. Certainly- & have seen this mysel(. When ta,in a raduate level class in AAC (rom Geor e !ason "niversity in 9//6- no mention was made at all as to the 'ur'oses and use o( core vocabularies. &nstead- em'hasis was 'laced on the use o( ti htly scri'ted- conte5t s'eci(ic communication boards. Ba,er and 3ill ;9///< describe this 'ractice as (ollows: &n current au mentative communication 'ractice- lar e amounts o( time are used to develo' s'ecial vocabularies (or classes- (ield tri's- activity-based learnin and a host o( other

academic and non-academic environments. +he vocabulary- (or e5am'le- o( earth sciences is considered to be radically di((erent (rom that o( seventh rade social studies.....Functional vocabulary (or a restaurant includes menu items- re4uests (or condiments- e5'ressions o( 're(erence li,e rare- medium- and well done. A nature wal, has its own s'ecial vocabulary which must be added to each device be(ore summer cam'in e5'eriences. ;'. *< +hose who 're(er the conce't o( core vocabulary would say that with a vocabulary o( a (ew hundred words- a 'erson can s'ea, on any to'ic ima inable in the En lish lan ua e includin all o( the above stated situations and could do so without the invention o( boards (or each sub1ect. Studies have shown enerally that the *// most (re4uently occurrin words ty'ically account (or more than $/ F o( the total words communicated. By the time you et to the 9// most (re4uently used words- you have accounted (or >/F o( the total words communicated. With the addition o( a (ew nouns to describe the s'eci(ic situation- one is able to use one board to communicate across settin s. ?nce a ain in the words o( Ba,er and 3ill ;9///<: Which is easier to do8 ?r ani2e and teach an e((ective structure (or 9// core words and their rammatical mor'hemes or the near random cast o( e5tended vocabulary that (loat throu h every individual7s li(e8 &n our o'inion- it is core vocabulary that liberates. +he (act that the same core vocabulary is used across all environments ives one in control o( core vocabulary (unctionality across environments. Althou h to'ics chan e- core vocabulary is consistent. ;'. 9<

AAC Vocabulary Selection Core versus Fringe Vocabulary &n discussions o( vocabulary selection- the term core vocabulary must be counterbalanced by the term fringe vocabulary. +he two conce'ts o hand in hand and to ether com'rise the whole o( an individual7s vocabulary. We have now de(ined core words as hi h (re4uency universal words that are usable across conte5ts. Frin e words- on the other hand- are described by Bor,ston- #owden- 3onsi ner- !arriner- and Smith ;*%>>< as +hose words that may not be im'ortant (or the ma1ority o( individuals but are nonetheless necessary (or a 'articular individual in a 'articular circumstance. Frin e lists include words that do not occur (re4uently but rather are dictated by an individual7s activities- interestsenvironment- and 'ersonal style. Frin e lists may be lar e with new words (re4uently added (or 'articular situations. ;'. 9/9<

Frin e words are the content words in the sentence. &n the sentence- I am going to the museum- the only non-core word in the sentence is the word museum. +his word is not an o(ten used word and so would not be a core word (or most 'eo'le unless that 'erson is the curator o( a museum or lives ne5t door to a museum and oes there o(ten. 3owever- it is an im'ortant word because it carries the meanin o( the sentence. "sin a core vocabulary without im'ortant (rin e words is limitin . +he 4uestion is how to have core vocabulary (or use in structurin novel sentences and (rin e words to carry im'ortant meanin . Even more im'ortant is to ,now which (rin e words to include in a communication system since the list o( words in this class is lar e and not o(ten needed. Gud ment needs to be used as to the inclusion o( words. Additionally- the user needs to become creative in usin e5istin core words. An e5am'le o( this ty'e o( creativity comes (rom Gail Van +atenhove. S'ea,in in S'otsylvania- Vir inia in the summer o( 9//$- she s'o,e o( a user with e5treme access 'roblems who was able to communicate the meanin o( the word tournament by usin the word team in se4uence. When he used his communication device to say Team Team Team Saturday- he was able to et the 'oint across that there would be a soccer tournament on Saturday. +he word team is not a core word 'er seH it was a (rin e word that had been selected (or this man7s communication system to become 'art o( his 'ersonal core. +his means that it was a word he used o(ten. +he word soccer was im'lied throu h conte5t and the ,nowled e o( the (amily and events that surrounded this AAC user. +he word tournament was not in his vocabulary at all because it too, u' too much real estate (or too little communicative value. +hrou h creativity- he was able to use his small ban, o( words to et his thou ht across.

AAC Vocabulary Selection &n order to structure a com'rehensive and (le5ible communication system (or the use o( a s'eci(ic individual- a means o( selectin vocabulary becomes crucial. @esearchers have sou ht to answer the im'ortant 4uestion o( vocabulary selection by analy2in available standard word lists- by analy2in the s'eech o( verbal s'ea,ers in a


variety o( situation- and by collectin and analy2in the words 'roduced by literate AAC users. +he research ained (rom these studies su''lies ood in(ormation to use when constructin boards and systems. Beu,elman- Gones and @owan ;*%>%< studied (re4uency o( word usa e o( $ 'reschoolers by audio ta'in these students. &n analy2in the lan ua e sam'les o( these 'reschoolers- Beu,elman et al. (ound that the 9C most (re4uently occurrin words accounted (or DC.*F o( the sam'le collected. Some e5am'les o( these (re4uently occurrin words included want- eat- and go - verbs- demonstratives- 're'ositions- and adverbs. No nouns were amon the 9C most (re4uently used words by 'reschoolers within the study sam'le. &n other words- they (ound that youn children a''ear to use core vocabulary more (re4uently than (rin e vocabulary. ;Bana1ee- #icarlo and Stric,lin- 9//6- '. $>< @e ardless o( the (act than nouns are not a lar e 'art o( the vocabulary o( 'reschoolers- Adamson- @oms,i#e((enbach- and Sevci, ;*%%9< re'orted that nouns re'resentin (oods and ob1ects are the (irst symbols used to desi n AAC systems. Accordin to Adamson et al. *%ID...nouns are chosen because they are considered to be easiest to teach and assess and are o( considerable (unctional use to the communicator. &n addition- the clinicians o(ten omitted other words ;e. . want- more- hel'< that re ulate interaction (rom au mentative communication systems and are harder to teach and re'resent on communication systems. When Adamson et al. ;*%ID< added these action words ;in addition to the nouns< to communication boards used by youn males with moderate to severe intellectual disabilitiesthe (re4uency with which they used these boards increased (rom 9 to D*F. +he Adamson et al. ;*%ID< study is one o( several recent studies that have demonstrated that combinin core and (rin e vocabulary words increases the (re4uency o( AAC use. ;e. . Beu,elman et al.*%%*- Bor,ston- #owden- 3onsin er- !arriner- and Smith- *%>%.< Bena1ee- #icarlo and Stric,lin ;9//6< studied core vocabulary determination (or toddlers and their (indin s su''ort 'revious research. &n their study- C/ toddlers were selected and audio ta'ed durin 'reschool activities. +he (irst *C/ utterances were analy2ed. ;'. $%<

AAC Vocabulary Selection +he results o( this study revealed that nine common words were used across child-directed (ree 'lay and adult-directed activities within nursery school and day 'ro rams. A (urther analysis o( the lan ua e sam'le revealed the use o( words to e5'ress di((erent 'arts o( syntactic- semantic- and 'ra matic (unctions. A lac, o( nouns was noted in the common words used across di((erent activities.....+he nine core words identi(ied by this research 'ro1ect were all included in the 9C most (re4uently used words identi(ied by Beu,elman et al. ;*%>%<. +he similarities to 'ast research hel' stren then the 'remise that a common core vocabulary can be a''lied across activities and environments. ;'. I*<

+he authors o on to conclude that it is o( the utmost im'ortance to include words (rom all semantic cate ories in the desi n o( communication materials. Some o( these words may be hard to re'resent ra'hically but these can be tau ht throu h the use o( modelin by teachers in the classroom. ;Bena1ee et al. 9//6- '. I*< Bor,ston- et al. ;*%>>< studied vocabulary lists to =assess the use(ulness o( these lists as a source o( vocabulary (or adolescents and adults usin aided communication. +o do this the researchers chose lists o( e5istin words and lists o( words derived (rom user diaries and analy2ed them. +he results were as (ollows: +he est that clinical use(ulness o( either sin le user lists or sin le standard vocabulary lists is limited as a source o( vocabulary items (or a number o( reasons. Firstuser vocabulary lists may be too small and contain words too uni4ue to serve as an ade4uate model (or the selection o( vocabulary lists (or other users. Second- standard vocabulary listsalthou h somewhat lar er and more com'rehensive than user vocabularies- also contain such a lar e 'ro'ortion o( uni4ue words that none can be considered a com'rehensive source o( words (or a broad ran e o( non-s'ea,in individuals. ;'. 9//< Bor,ston et al. ;*%>>< oes on to (ind that the best way to choose individual vocabularies is to use com'osite lists (or (indin core vocabulary but to obtain (rin e vocabulary throu h communication diaries and environmental inventories. ;'. 9/*< ?ne clinician in the (ield who has combined standard lists with user diaries is Gail Van +atenhove. She is a s'eech lan ua e 'atholo ist who s'eciali2es in au mentative communication. &n her 'ractice- which s'ans a 'eriod o( about 6/ years- she has com'iled com'osite lists (or everyday use by real 'eo'le. +hese lists have their start in

AAC Vocabulary Selection the research stated above but have been coa5ed alon and enriched by the vocabularies o( real users in real situations. +he (irst list- 'resented below- comes (rom the 9//6 research by Bena1ee- et al. on the core vocabulary o( toddlers. ;'.I/< +hese researchers list the to' words used by toddlers as (ollows:


*. a 9. all one)(inished 6. o D. hel' C. here $. & I. in >. is

%. it */. mine **. more *9. my *6. no *D. o(( *C. on *$. out

*I. some *>. that *%. the 9/. want 9*. what 99. yes)yeah 96. you

Van +atenhove altered this list (or clinical use by re(erencin di((erent word lists and com'arin those lists to the communication sam'les and diaries o( her consumers. &n that way- she broadened and se4uenced the ori inal list in order to determine what words to use (or her clients au mentative systems and in what order to introduce them. Followin are some o( Van +atenhove7s clinical a''lication lists based on but e5'anded (rom the ori inal Bena1ee et al. ;9//6< list. +he com'lete clinical a''lication listin is in the a''endi5 o( this 'a'er. First 8 words: *. all one 9. hel' 6. want D. mine First 15 words: *. all one 9. away 6. o D. hel' $. & I. it >. li,e %. have **. Sto' *9. that *6. want *D. what C. more $. sto' I. that >. what

AAC Vocabulary Selection C. here */. more *C. you


+hese lists are an inte rated way o( dealin with vocabulary. +hey are based on a develo'mental a''roach in which lists are derived (rom lan ua e ac4uisition 'rinci'als. ;Bena1ee et al. 9//6- '. $I< +hey are then combined with user inventories as su ested by Bor,ston et al.- *%>>- '.9// to ma,e com'osite lists o( use(ul- meanin (ul vocabulary. +hey ive the novice =word (inder= a sim'le lo ical way to be in the use o( core vocabulary. +hey should not- however- be used as i( they were a (i5ed and in(le5ible truth. @ather- they are a startin 'oint (or those who would be in to shi(t the (ocus o( communication (rom the over use o( (rin e vocabulary to one which uses all 'arts o( the lan ua e to 'rovide communication sim'ly and across conte5ts. +hese lists- & believe- re'resent a 'aradi m shi(t (or most teachers selectin vocabulary (or non verbal students in our schools today. &n current 'ractice- teachers are usin (unctional and environmental a''roaches to the choice o( vocabulary. &n the (unctional a''roach- words are chosen based on e5'ressed communication (unctions such as re4uestin commentin - reetin - and 'rotestin . ;Bena1ee et al. 9//6- '. $I< +his a''roach has iven users o''ortunities to say 're-scri'ted thin s li,e- =BummyJ= =& don7t want that.= & want a coo,ie 'lease.= and =3ey Babe=. Words are also and o(ten chosen accordin to the environmental a''roach. +his is the a''roach that ma,es sure we have a''ro'riate (rin e vocabulary (or a iven situation because- in eneral- (rin e vocabulary is s'eci(ic to each communication environment. ;Bena1ee et al. 9//6- '. $I<< +his is the a''roach that brin s us- (or instance- boards that list all the vocabulary needed (or an art activity. Boards will have vocabulary (or marker, paper, crayon and glue and this vocabulary will be chan ed when oin on to a snac, activity to words li,e cookie, popcorn, drink, and spoon. ?(ten the (unctional and environmental a''roaches are combined ivin us the boards which are used in common 'ractice in our schools. For instance- in the above mentioned art activity- the words marker, paper, crayon and glue would be su''lemented with the words more, finished, I like that and I don't like that to ma,e a situation s'eci(ic board that has (unctional com'onents. While these a''roaches certainly add im'ortant 'ieces to the overall discussion o( vocabulary selection- they arein my o'inion- overused. & would su est that environmental)(unctional boards are 'otentially limitin when not used in addition to a basic core vocabulary. +hey su''ly a very little conversation on a teacher chosen to'ic. +hey su''ly no way (or a student to tal, eneratively on the ran e o( to'ics available to verbal 'eers. +he only way

AAC Vocabulary Selection students can be in to 1oin the rich conversation o( the schools and o( li(e in eneral is throu h the use o( core vocabulary. Conclusion


@esearch shows that there is a core vocabulary that is usable across conte5ts- that it is made u' o( all 'arts o( the lan ua e and that we all ma,e use o( it. #ay in and day out- we use the little words we all ,now to s'ea, on the to'ics at hand. We also use and need (rin e vocabulary to brin the 'oint home. +here are times when only a noun will do. &( you are a man lyin 'arched in the desert sand- =Water= is the word needed and the word used. +ruth(ully- the choosin o( vocabulary (or nonverbal users is di((icult and (rau ht with 'roblems. &( the eyes are the window to the soul- then surely- words are the window out o( it. 3ow can anyone 'resume to (ind vocabulary that is su((icient to e5'ress what lies in another7s mind8 3ow can a (ew words on a Chea' +al, ive 'ower to the 'erson sittin in (ront o( it8 Even words li,e =Wow= and =+hat7s cool= when chosen by a teacher- mirror the thou hts o( the 'ro rammer not those o( the user. &t is only with core vocabulary that real enerative communication can be in. &( we ste' bac, and loo, at the conce't o( vocabulary- it seems to be 'ure lo ical truth that we have to teach lan ua e as we su''ly communication. &( we ta,e the time to teach the conce'ts behind the core words rather than ma,in 'retty and e5'edient boards o( color(ul nouns- we will have started to build a brid e to where we- as s'ea,ers- are 'artici'atin in a rich lan ua e li(e. @ecently & had a student who has normal lan ua e develo'ment but 'oor e5'ressive ability usin a core board. 3e said =& want little o.= 3e meant =& only want to do a little wor,.= 3e ot the 'oint across and he did it 4uic,ly and easily. +here was no com'uter to contend with- no scannin to dono board to chan e- no barrier between him and his idea e5ce't a (ew small words arran ed on a sin le board. And so we have come bac, to the students who be an this 'a'er. & thin, core vocabulary can ma,e a di((erence (or all o( them and & am actively wor,in toward that oal. & am ho'e(ul that the word zucchini will be re'laced by sim'le (unctional core and (rin e words that su''ly lan ua e learnin and have hi h communicative value. & am ho'e(ul that the boo, o( nouns will be used secondarily to a sin le board o( core words to hel' in the creation o( real communication. Finally- & am ho'e(ul that my scannin student will use a sim'le set o( words to say what is on his mind on a variety o( to'ics o( his own choosin . Whatever may ha''en- my scannin student tau ht me about the 'ower o( core vocabulary on the day that he was iven core vocabulary to use. 3e made his (irst sentence- and it

AAC Vocabulary Selection


was- =& want o (ast.= & wheeled him out o( the classroom and into the hall where we whi22ed 'ast classrooms at a blindin rate o( s'eed. 3e lau hed a dee' lau h o( contentment and & thou ht to mysel(- =&t ood.=

@e(erences Adamson- A.- @oms,i- !.- #e((ebach- :. K Sevci,- @. ;*%%9< Symbol Vocabulary and the Focus o( Conversations: Au mentin Aan ua e #evelo'ment (or Bouth with !ental @etardation. Journal of Speech and esearch, !", #!!!$#!%!. Ba,er- B.- 3ill- :. K #evylder- @. ;9///<. Core Vocabulary is the same across environments. htt':))'roceedin s)/9C%Ba,er.htm Bena1ee- !.- #icarlo- C. K Stric,lin- B. ;9//6<. Core Vocabulary #etermination (or +oddlers. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication- *%- $I-I6. Beu,elman- #.;*%%*<. !a ic and Cost o( Communicative Com'etence . &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication, (, pp. )$#*. Beu,elman- #.- Gones- @. K @owan- !. ;*%>%<. Fre4uency o( Word "sa e by Nondisabled Eeers in &nte rated Ereschool Classrooms. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication- C- 9D6-9D>. Boose- !. K Stinnett- +. ;*%%%<. &ndirect Aan ua e Stimulation ;&AS<: AAC +echni4ues +o Eromote Communication Com'etence. +aper presented at the &nnual Southeast &ugmentative 'ommunication 'onference. Cross- @.- Ba,er- B.- :lot2- A.- K Badman- A. Static and dynamic ,eyboards: Semantic Com'action in worlds. etrieved June, )**, from.

Fallon- :.- Ai ht- G. K Achenbach- A. ;9//6<. +he Semantic ?r ani2ation Eatterns o( Boun Children: &m'lications (or Au mentative and Alternative Communication. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication, #/0)1, (%$2". Goossens7- C. ;*%>%<. Aided Communication &ntervention Be(ore Assessment: A Case Study o( a Child with Cerebral Ealsy. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication- C ;*<- *D-9$ Ai ht- G.- #ra er- :.- !cCarthy- G.- !ellott- S.- !illar- #.- Earrish- C.- Earsons- A.- @hoads- S.- Ward- !. K Welliver- !. ;9//D<. Eer(ormance o( +y'ically #evelo'in Four-and Five-Bear-?ld Children with AAC Systems usin #i((erent Aan ua e ?r ani2ation +echni4ues. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication ;9<- $6->>. Stubbs- !. ;*%>$<. Aan ua e #evelo'ment- Ae5ical Com'etence and Nuclear Vocabulary. :evin #ur,in- ed ;*%>$

AAC Vocabulary Selection 3anguage 4evelopment in the School 5ears. Croom 3elm. Van +atenhove- Gail ;9//$<. Sto' the !adness and Start Communicatin . Wor,sho'- S'otsylvania VA. Bor,ston- :.- 3onsin er- !.- #owden- E. K !arriner- N. ;*%>%<. Vocabulary selection: A Case @e'ort. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication, C- ''. */*-*/>. Bor,ston- :.- #owden- E.- 3onsin er- !.- !arriner- N. K Smith- :. ;*%>><. A com'arison o( standard and user vocabulary lists. &ugmentative and &lternative 'ommunication- D- *>%-9*/.


AAC Vocabulary Selection


Appendi A +oddler Vocabulary Arran ed by Fre4uency Bena1ee- #icarlo K Stric,lin &ugmentative an &lternative 'ommunication- *%- $I-I6. Words & No Bes)yea my the want is it that a o mine you what on in here more out o(( some Percentage %.C >.C I.$ C.> C.9 C./ D.% D.% D.% D.$ D.D 6.> 6.9 6.* 9.> 9.I 9.I 9.$ 9.D 9.6 9.6

AAC Vocabulary Selection hel' all done)(inished 9.* *./ !"# $% Appendi & Gail Van +atenhove7s Clinical Aists derived (rom user diaries and standard lists by Bena1ee- !.- #iCarlo- C.- K Buras-Stric,lin- S. ;9//6< Core Vocabulary #etermination (or +oddlers. Au mentative and Alternative Communication- 9- $I-I6.


Bena1ee Aist: +o' Words "sed by +oddlers *. a 9. all one)(inished 6. o D. hel' C. here $. & I. in >. is %. it */. mine **. more *9 my *6. no *D. o(( *C. on *$. out *I. some *>. that *%. the 9/. want 9*. what 99. yes) yea 96. you

C'I(ICA' APP'ICA)I*( *F &+(A,++ 'I-) First 8 Words: *. all done 9. hel' 6. want D. mine C. more $. sto' I. that >. what

First 15 words: *. all one 9. away 6. o D. hel' C. here

$. & I. it >. li,e %. have */. more

**. Sto' *9. that *6. want *D. what *C. you

First $. Words *. a ain 9. all one 6. away D. bi C. do

**. * *9. in *6. it *D. li,e *C. little

9*. out 99. 'ut 96. some 9D. sto' 9C. that

AAC Vocabulary Selection $. down I. et >. o %. hel' */. here *$. mine *I. more *>. my *%. o(( 9/. on 9$. there 9I. u' 9>. want 9%. what 6/. you


First 5. Words *. a ain 9. all 6. all done D. away C. bad $. bi I. come >. do %. don7t */ down **. drin, *9. eat *6. (eel

*D. et *C. o *$. ood *I. ha''y *>. hel' *%. here 9/. & 9*. in 99. it 96. li,e 9D. little 9C. ma,e 9$. me

9I. mine 9>. more 9%. my 6/. not 6*. now 69. o(( 66. on 6D. out 6C. 'lay 6$. 'ut 6I. read 6>. sad 6%. some

D/. sto' D*. tell D9. that D6. there DD. turn DC. u' D$. want DI. what D>. where D%. who C/. why C*. you

Adding to the )op 5. *. Led 9. Lin 6. Ls D. a(ter C. almost $. another I.any >. as, %. be */. be(ore **. body *9. can *6. cold *D. color *C. did *$. di((erent *I. dress *>. (all *%. (ast 9/. (avorite 9*. (or 99. (un 96. ive 9D. oodbye 9C. uess

9$. have 9I. he 9>. hear 9%. hi 6/. hot 6*. how 69 hun ry 66. idea 6D. is 6C. 1ob 6$. ,now 6I. later 6>. we 6%. let D/. listen D*. live D9. lose D6. love DD. maybe DC. much D$. mysel( DI. name D>. need D%. nice C/. o(

C*. one C9. other C6. over CD. 'lace CC. 'lease C$. 'retty CI. 'roblem C>. ready C%. ride $/. same $*. say $9. she $6. sic, $D. silly $C. sin $$. sit $I. slee' $>. slow $%. sorry I/. start I*. sur'rise I9. swim I6. ta,e ID. than, you IC. these

I$. they II. thin, I>. thirsty I%. those >/. time >*. tired >9. to ether >6. try >D. under >C. very >$. wal, >I. way >>. we >%. when %/. win %*. with %9. wor, %6. write %D. wron %C. your %$. %I. %>. %%. *//.

Adding Words to /et to $..0 Core Words

AAC Vocabulary Selection *. Add all the 'ronouns 9. Add more ad1ectives and adverbs 6. E5'and verbs- with tense variations


Appendi C 5.. 1ost Fre2uently *ccurring Words Produced &y Five Adult Co33unication Aug3entation -yste3 4sers 5listed 6ro3 3ost to least 6re2uently occurring7 &eu8el3an9 :or8ston9 Poblete9 (aran;o9 Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders9 <!9 p# $". & to you the a it my and in is me on have do o( that et (or what but i( can don7t be &7m with are li,e was mom how this so will o not or want would when u' all out she they about no could down tell home her ood too why o, because (rom much car very use can7t wor, now more don7t hel' him who ri ht that7s day tomorrow (oot lon were an today by over them &7ve really wal, two toni ht a ain only (eel ba eat has (ind then (our maybe le(t last those dinner doin (irst stand 'leased battery said 'eo'le won7t a lot ive &7d clean turn watch well remember other yes anythin new nice 'ants never (i5 lunch ta'e call used thou ht under 'retty mean ,ind way crib mi ht reat 'ush even head both wouldn7t (ar set thin s ame hurt stu(( music wait ne5t done also anyone our sorry until wear ma,in boo, cave eyes s,in 'a'er away +V enou h wal,in school move heard noise side chec, 'ot believe since boy damn words ,nee ets tal,in hurts 'roblem mouth what7s nurse while came write coo,ies wei ht into bath wron bein you7d years bi radio loo,in ha''ened told rather oh brin care brea,(ast he7ll li(e si5 hit (ace understand twenty irl close lot shirt mysel( tube started least there7s best almost than, throu h minute later cut yoursel( mornin listen wonder miss 'ay cars able these clothes called sto' show hand haven7t save bro,e sun easy second than,s 'ass moved ta'es ma,es (eels everythin a''le nothin s'eed must dead 'iece already late 'art normal wra' ty'e slee' notes insure real as,ed horn uy mi ht days tired slow sittin nose li(t comes card comin thin,in month sounds study 'ins read (eet tryin such seein ,e't he7s

AAC Vocabulary Selection it7s your at oin 'ut ta,e we did 'lease time ,now one see 1ust am o(( as thin, there ma,e had dad need where room here he bac, some any let7s chair still &7ll loo, bed 'lay wish may sure somethin buy ni ht say tal, his should a(ter as, try little than better does com'uter be(ore thin same been li ht ho'e ,ee' eye went cold hot water always board which hos'ital love money ettin 'ee hate leave arm 'ac, old ara e hard 'o' doctor uess wee, let hour bad usin wor,in once shoes 'lu lad many whole man yet too, red because a o blue wal,er bloc, line name hold ever (ell towel isn7t (loor doesn7t table su''ose huh most loo,s (or ot it hal( saw nine made beauti(ul three thera'y 'ro ram own buildin o'en every two live yesterday 'ic, anyway number bo5 their minutes she7s (ine one (ull i(t hair tomorrow leavin stay year 'lace sit 'lus im'ortant mind months handle 1uice trac, (ood a(raid dumb word between run carry su''er lay doctors ice cost stereo wal,ed laundry instead 1ob door wonderin low hello toilet la' sur ery sound 'robably clear 'urse Friday cream brain (all ti ht diamond aw(ul sho' (ree


Appendi = + a3ples o6 Core Vocabulary &oards used in the -potsylvania County -chools

AAC Vocabulary Selection


S'otsylvania County C/ Word File Folder Velcro Core Board Can be used (or 'ointin - (or modelin and (or ma,in smaller boards as needed

Core Vocabulary Board "sed (or writin instruction in a 'rimary autism classroom &nvented by #onna Cannavo- Courtland Elementary School

AAC Vocabulary Selection


Core Vocabulary Board used (or a student with intact lan ua e ability 'oor motor s,ills. +he board is used to su''lement e5istin s'eech. !ade by Barbara Cannon