In our daily lives, we are constantly communicating and there are many reasons why we communicate. We might want to get an opinion across, tell a story or greet a loved one. These purposes of communication are often called Communicative Functions and can include acts like:
- sharing information
- protesting or rejecting
- asking questions
- expressing needs or physical states (i.e. hot, tired)
We need to make sure we are teaching our AAC users a wide range of communicative functions so that their expression is not limited. Imagine not being able to ever ask someone a question or tell a joke again because we haven’t been given the tools to do so. Using different communicative functions also allows us to stand up for ourselves and express our needs and wants which is important for our users in order to develop self-advocacy skills.
We can teach our users different communicative functions through supplying a varied and relevant vocabulary in their AAC systems and consistently providing opportunities in their daily lives to model and use them.
A speech pathologist can help you learn different ways to create communication opportunities for the various communicative functions.