We’re seeing a big increase in the number of families and professionals who are prioritizing literacy instruction for people with AAC needs, and that makes us VERY happy. In some cases, families, teachers, and therapists are using adapted books in their shared reading activities and making them available for self-selected reading, too. There are lots of ways to adapt books, though, and not every adaptation is appropriate for an individual who uses or is learning AAC. In this post, we talk about some of the things to consider when making decisions about adapted books. The term ‘adapted book’ refers to a book that was altered in some fashion to make it more accessible to people with disabilities. There are different ways of modifying books including: Simplifying or revising the text, Adding AAC symbols to the text, Changing the format (e.g., cutting it apart, binding it at the top, and reassembling,... [Read More...]
Hope you had a fulfilling week. Here’s couple of posts that may be of interest. Monday: Site of the Month: AT Makers Wednesday: Video of the Week – Twin Powers Unite: Teaching AAC and Sight Words
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We’ve been writing about the Makers Movement for awhile, and couldn’t be happier with the way that the AT community has embraced it. When we posted a video about one of their DIY switch mount projects a few months ago, we were impressed by the number of you who asked for more. In today’s post, we dig deeper into this area by highlighting the AT Makers site. The AT Makers site aims to be a meeting place for AT specialists, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) and Robotics Clubs/Teams, and engineers. Here are the highlights: Glossary: DIY AT projects sometimes involve people from various backgrounds working together to solve problems. This handy glossary helps us speak the same language. Tutorials: The site currently has project plans, supply lists, videos, and directions for AT-related projects that it offers to the global community. For now, there are just a handful of projects... [Read More...]
It’s a healthy sign when practitioners in any field examine their beliefs, reflect on their own practices, and revisit previously held assumptions. In this post, veteran SLP Alicia Garcia challenges us to think about some important questions. Do we hold people who use AAC to standards that are different from their speaking peers? How does that impact them? What, if any, adjustments in our thinking should be made to help them flourish? It’s a great day for us to slow down and think through questions like these, and Alicia’s guest post helps us do just that. The Curse of the Random Thought in AAC Situation: Young verbal children playing in a sand pit Child 1: My dad’s truck broke Child 2: Oh… my mom has a blue car and she’s coming over later Child 3: … I had a big candy bar all by myself… Communication is a messy... [Read More...]
Almost anyone who has done AAC trainings, consultations, and evaluations has spent at least part of their time educating others and busting myths about AAC principles, practices, and expected outcomes. We’re always on the lookout for easy-to-use resources that help us make our points and leave the participants with a meaningful way to remember the main points of our discussion. Today we’re revisiting a simple 1-page resource that can be used as a supplemental handout in trainings, shared with colleagues and families, and displayed in a classroom or office. Click on the image below to download a printable copy.
Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts you may have missed. Monday: 5 Misconceptions About Core Vocabulary in AAC Wednesday: Video of the Week: From Presence to Contribution – A Family’s Journey Towards an Inclusive Life Thursday: PrAACtical Resources: Behavioral Supports for Young Children
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One of the biggest stressors for therapists and educators who work with AAC is dealing with challenging behavior. In today’s post, we share a wonderful set of resources on positive approaches to preventing, minimizing, and de-escalating instances of challenging behavior. The Technical Assistance Center of Social Emotional Intervention for Young Children produced a number of resources that are available on their website here. Topics include: Tips and forms for getting started Using a Buddy System Teacher tools Turtle Technique Visual supports Using scripts Circle time tips Dealing with feelings Strategies for families to use at home There is also a helpful Tool Kit that can be accessed via the image below.
When we first started writing about core vocabulary, it was largely due to the fact that most SGDs, AAC apps, and communication boards/ books had two big deficits. At the time, most of them lacked the words needed to function throughout the day and/or didn’t have the kinds of words that allow for progression of syntactic skills. Now things look very different. Over the years, the pendulum has moved quite dramatically and now core vocabulary permeates AAC systems that are considered to be ‘robust.’ That’s a lot of movement in a short period of time. When big changes happen rapidly, it stands to reason that there will be some cracks that open up. Misunderstandings, misinterpretations, misconceptions. Here are some of the ones we’ve observed in the recent past. Core words are all that are needed in an AAC system. (Not in most cases. We all want to talk about the... [Read More...]
The start of April is always a busy time. We launched Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month by learning more about how to differentiate instruction in ways that let kids with autism and other communication challenges grow and shine. Thanks, Phyl Macomber and UM-NSU CARD for a great day of learning and connecting! Hope your start to the month was equally enriching. Monday: PrAACtically April: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words Tuesday: PrAACtical Alert: AAC App News (Throughout the month, we’ll keep updating this with news of AAC app discounts and other sales on autism-related materials). Wednesday: PrAACtically April: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words Thursday: 30 Ways to Support Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month
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April is just around the corner and that means we’re getting ready to support the acceptance and inclusion of autistic people. Looking for ideas? Here are some to get you started. Treat yourself to some goodies from The Chocolate Spectrum (where you can order online, visit the cafe, or take a chocolate-making class) or other places that employ people with autism. Read and share 5 references that support the use of AAC & Autism. Help your family or community go beyond awareness and into acceptance. Learn and share information about Autism Safety – Be AWAARE! Know an autistic MineCraft lover? Introduce them to AutCraft. Educate yourself on terminology that relates to autism and people with ASD. We may have learned people-first language back in grad school, but there are different points of view on that. This is a great time to learn about identity-first language. Apply your critical reasoning skills to... [Read More...]