The summer is flying by here in Florida and we’re starting to think about heading back to school. Teachers, therapists, and aides play a pivotal role in helping AAC learners develop skills with core vocabulary so that they have a body of words that can be used across activities, environments, and communication partners. There are lots of ‘right’ ways to support these students. Among them is an instructional approach in which a new set of core words is introduced every few weeks in order to build their experiences with AAC. Our Year of Core Words materials has two versions, one from 2013 (12 words/month) and one from 2014 (16 words/month; Different than the previous year’s core words). If you’ve been following along, or are just getting started, these resources may be of interest. Set 1 (2013) Words: any, bring, day, fall, give, hot, job, know, other, sick, sorry, together Set 2 (2014) Words: aide, animal, clothes,... [Read More...]
The hot and hazy days of summer are upon us but the AAC work continues. Here are some posts that may be of interest. Monday: 5 Ways to Make Semantic Maps More Effective in AAC Therapy Wednesday: Video of the Week: AAC Teaching Tips on Scaffolding and Visual Supports ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: If you’re looking for ways to build AAC and language skills during book reading, here are some suggestions from guest bloggers. Erin Sheldon on books for beginning readers of any age Karen Natoci’s series on classroom lessons based on various books Sara Barnhill and the AT Team at Children’s Hospital of Virginia on Pete the Cat Rocking My New School Shoes, Bear Wants More, Bark George, and Sometimes I Feel Sunny. Happy reading!
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Graphic organizers, such as semantic maps, are a well-established means of teaching word meanings. Both SLPs and educators frequently use this research-supported strategy to build word knowledge when working with AAC learners. Like any instructional tool or strategy, though, the learning gains our students make are tied to how we implement this kind of graphic organizer in our teaching and therapy. Here are some thoughts in maximizing the effectiveness of this powerful tool. Don’t expect graphic organizers to be the primary way that students learn their new vocabulary words. These tools are most effective when supplemented with other intervention strategies, like focused language stimulation. Make it interactive. While some professionals use graphic organizers as a worksheet that is completed in school or assigned as homework, that probably isn’t the best approach for AAC learners. Instead, plan to complete the graphic organizers WITH your student, so that you can guide the... [Read More...]
Hope your weekend is going well. Here are some posts from our prAACtical week. Monday: 3 Presentation Handouts on Core Vocabulary Implementation Wednesday: Video of the Week: Parent Collaboration in AAC Therapies Thursday: Core Vocabulary, AAC Resources and Beyond Looking for activities for adolescents, teens, and adults? The AT Team at ChoR has some great ideas for us! Scrapbooking and computer Nailpolish and magazines Cooking (with picture recipes) You can see all their AT Recipes for Success here. Have a great week!
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Things move more slowly in the summer and that makes it a good time to play catch-up. Here are some posts that may be worth a second look. Getting ready for a core vocabulary journey Make It Monday: Manual communication boards with core vocabulary Make It Monday: More words, please! Expanding our manual communication boards Super Size It: 5 ideas for making large communication boards Beyond requesting: A week of routines to increase AAC use at mealtimes 5 ways to build understanding Free resources for making AAC and visual supports 5 places for shared AAC materials What else are you catching up on these days? —
Looking for ways to up your game in implementing core vocabulary? Here are some presentation handouts that may give you some additional ideas. Jennifer Ro and Amy Thomsen on core in the classroom Megan Brazas on the Core Vocabulary Exchange System Gail Van Tatenhove on core in the classroom Were there AAC-related presentations or resources that inspired you recently? We’d love to hear about them!
Summer is in full swing here and it is too hot to do much of anything strenuous. If you’re in the mood to peruse some AAC-related posts, we have a few suggestions. Monday: Site of the Month: UDL Technology Tuesday: Happy Independence Day! Wednesday: Video of the Week: Beyond the Basics – Core Considerations in AAC Intervention Thursday: PrAACtical Questions with Vicki Clarke: What’s the Role of Core Vocabulary? Looking for things to do this week? Here are some posts with suggestions for core word activities that incorporate language learning with motor activities and sensory play and printable handouts for parents and others. AT Recipes for Success with Young AAC Learners Bubbles and Cars Ball Play and Dolls Paint Dotters and Crayons Potato Head and Animal Puzzles
Today, we’re welcoming back Vicki Clarke, a Georgia-based SLP who has been specializing in AAC for over 25 years. Her practice, Dynamic Therapy Associates, serves children and adults with significant communication challenges in clinical and educational settings. Most of Vicki’s guest posts have been on the topic of assessment (click here to view them), but in this post, she shares her thoughts on the role of core vocabulary in AAC systems. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I’ve enjoyed listening to the wonderful presenters at the AAC In The Cloud sessions last week. It’s exciting to see AAC knowledge being shared to such a wide and varied audience! Core vocabulary was a hot topic last week so I thought it would be a good time to chat about it! At conferences, in blogs, all over the internet and from your AAC specialists, you may have gotten the memo that Core Vocabulary is an important component... [Read More...]
Celebrating Independence Day, AAC style! The ABC’s of Independence by Beth Moulam A few years ago, Snoopy Botten, who sings using his AAC device, put new words to an old tune.
Looking for ways to up your game in using technology in your therapy and teaching? Then you may well appreciate a website devoted to John O’Sullivan’s book, UDL Technology: Technology for Universal Design for Learning and Special Education. The site features sections on: File sharing Interactive whiteboards Projecting with a tablet Instant student feedback Presentations and representations of information Library Math Science Literature Social studies Learning a language Writing Fine arts Maker space Notes Memory Special education Occupational therapy Speech and language AAC Behavior AT for physical disabilities Preschool And more. In each area, there are multiple suggestions for specific programs, apps, and web tools that are tried and true. Many of the tools can be used for multiple purposes, so don’t shy away from checking out sections that don’t seem to relevant to your work. You just might find a hidden gem! This site is valuable both as inspiration... [Read More...]