What is Cause and Effect?
Cause and effect is around us everyday and is a hallmark of life. They are the rewards of doing something good or the consequences of doing something bad. Babies also learn this at a very young age, If I cry, mom picks me up. This is a cause and effect situation because mom is picking me up to comfort me BECAUSE I am crying!
How we can use Cause and Effect in AAC
Because cause and effect is extremely important in speech and the use of language switch adapted toys are popular. These toys are a form of AAC that have a switch attached to them so that they can control the outcome of the toy. They are important in language because it shows that if I press this button, something will happen. Something that is really cool about these toys is that they can even be on advanced toys such as Xbox.
Even the most advanced toys are actually really simple in nature. The switch is pressed and an outcome is released. These are great in speech therapy because it is a fun way to teach cause and effect and the child can be involved and engaged. We often will begin our therapy using switch adapted toys to develop the understanding of relationships. Through play we teach language. It’s a win- win for everyone.
A typical session might look like this:
SLP: This is a puppy! What do you this will happen when we press the switch? Let’s press the switch and see what happens!
Child: Presses switch.
Outcome: The dog moves and barks!
SLP: The dog moved and barked because you pressed the switch! Good job!
This connects the action of pressing the switch with action of the dog barking and moving.
The child learns if you do or say something, a reaction or effect is going to occur. This is why we use switch adapted toys with simple designs. We focus on the strengths of the child and getting them to be the best communicator they can be!