Cause and Effect/Labelling

For individuals who are not ready to use single words, activities that establish cause and effect, and learning to label can be useful activities.

Cause and Effect

If someone is not ready to use single words, consider implementing some cause and effect activities. Cause and effect refers to the ability to associate what one does with what occurs as a result of that action.

Here is one activity for encouraging cause and effect:

  1. Using a touch screen or a single switch, the person can select from items on a dynamic screen. You may even limit the number of items seen on the screen by hiding keys.
  2. Reinforce the person’s selections with appropriate feedback.

AAC Options:

  • Accent 700SB or Springboard Lite with 4 location pages for singing, playing with bubbles, or selecting snacks.
  • Accent 1400, Accent 1200, Accent 1000, Accent 700, Eco or Vantage Lite or Vanguard with 4 locations pages.


Labelling, or naming an object or picture, is a typical language skill between 4 and 18 months.

Here are some activities for encouraging labelling:

  1. Establish the ability to match objects to their pictures.
  2. Play games and make requests with low-tech boards.
  3. Introduce a consistent symbol set. There is no real prerequisite for being introduced to Unity symbols!

Caution: Don’t stay at this point too long, as nouns are limiting to the development of language. Many people who use AAC become great labelers, as they have access to labels and learn to use them. If they are not given access to other words until they learn to spell or to recognise sight words, they are at risk for becoming “requesters.” The way to avoid this issue is to provide access to other words.