autism support

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a range of strategies and tools to help people who struggle with speech, language and/or communication. These may be simple letter or picture boards, PECS, signing or computer-based systems, such as GRID. AAC helps someone to communicate as effectively as possible, in as many situations as possible.

The majority of our children and young people, who use AAC at Crowdys Hill School, use GRID 3 software or PECS®. PECS® stands for a picture-based communication system that can be used with any aged child or young person.


Pecs                                                 smartbox                                                 

 Pupils often come to school with their own AAC devices, which have been recommended and/or provided by their previous Speech Therapists.  Swindon also have a specialist AAC Advisory Teacher who may suggest AAC devices for your child. You should always seek the advice of Speech and Language Therapists before purchasing AAC equipment for your child.

Staff will be trained to use the AAC device before your child joins us. On rare occasions where this doesn't happen, the school will ensure that staff are trained as soon as possible

We promote a Total Communication environment at Crowdys Hill School. Tools and strategies we use to support this are:

  • Whiteboards
  • Recording whiteboards
  • Signalong©
  • Most staff in primary trained in use of PECS© (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Use of general visual aids including Widgit©
  • Talking mats approach©
  • Any other AAC devices recommended by our Speech Therapists, or the SBC advisory Teacher, including GRID 3 software.
  • Using PC programmes, such as Dragon Speak, or Text to speech.

Date this page was last modified: 22 August 2022


If you have any Safeguarding concerns/questions/queries our Designated Safeguarding Lead can be contacted on:

07955 772121