PrAACtical News: AAC Disaster Relief

September 22, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical News: AAC Disaster Relief

As we all know, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria left many people without basic services, and people who use AAC are among the most vulnerable. Please review this important information about efforts underway to address their no tech, low tech, and high tech AAC needs. You can help by donating time, expertise, AAC-related equipment that is in good working order, and/or funds to purchase replacements. If you are considering a donation of used AAC-related equipment, please see this important information from the Pass It On Center. Another way you can help is by spreading the word about these sites and helping us reach people in need. Individuals in the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are able to apply for assistance. Please help however you can. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: People with severe disabilities who are unable to speak are among the hardest hit by disasters like Hurricane Harvey and more recently, Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They get separated from their helpers, lose access to their speech generating devices and their low-tech tools,... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Teaching Peers About AAC

September 21, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Resources: Teaching Peers About AAC

It is not overstating things to say that Gail Van Tatenhove’s resources have shaped the way AAC is practiced all around the world. In this post, we share a terrific booklet that she created to help those who are supporting students in inclusive settings. While this specific resource is designed to teach the basic idea of Minspeak, the student-friendly approach she has used is a wonderful example that can inspire those of us who support students working with a wider variety of AAC systems. Enjoy this little gem!

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How We Do It: Using AAC to Repair Communication Breakdowns

September 18, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: Using AAC to Repair Communication Breakdowns

We’ve had many nice comments about the resources shared by AAC SLP Alicia Garcia, clinical lead of the AAC Clinic at One Kids Place, a children’s treatment centre in northern Ontario. With over two decades of experience in pediatric rehabilitation practice in private and public settings, Alicia’s ideas for how to support AAC learners and their families are tried and true. In today’s post, Alicia shares thoughts and materials for situations in which the AAC is needed to repair communication breakdowns. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Children with unclear speech not only have different intelligibility levels but also different levels of awareness, focus, and interest on repairing their communication breakdowns. We use different approaches based on how they react and respond when they are not understood. As a general guideline when a communication breakdown occurs, regardless of the child’s profile, we first try determining the level of urgency or importance of the child’s intended... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 38: September, 2017

September 17, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 38: September, 2017

We’ve been busy recovering from Hurricane Irma but wanted share a few posts with you nonetheless. Wednesday – Video of the Week: AAC Data Collection The events of the week gave us an opportunity to connect with friends, near and far. It also made us think about how far we have to go in learning the best ways to help AAC learners build meaningful and lasting friendships. Here are some previous posts on that topic. On Friendship: Supporting AAC Learners A Recipe for Friendship Friendship Skills for Children with ASD Who Use AAC 5 Ways That SLPs Can Support Friendships for People Who Use AAC 5 (More) Resources for Supporting Friendships in Individuals who use AAC

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 37: September, 2017

September 10, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 37: September, 2017

There are busy weeks and there are stressful weeks, and then there are stressful-and-busy weeks. Hurricane Irma took up much of our time and energy this week, and the impending storm made me really grateful that WordPress allows advance scheduling of blog posts. By the time you’re reading this, the power may be out at PrAACtical AAC Central. Either way, you can still look over the posts from this week. Monday – PrAACtical Resources: Storm Preparation and Recovery Wednesday – Video of the Week: Real Life AAC Thursday – Emergency Preparedness for the AAC Family If that’s too much storm-related reading for you, try these posts instead. AAC Therapy: When the Lesson Plan Fails From Activity-based AAC to Robust Language: Part 1 From Activity-based AAC to Robust Language: Part 2 Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 1 Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 2 Hoping we all have a calmer,... [Read More...]

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Emergency Preparedness for the AAC Family

September 7, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Emergency Preparedness for the AAC Family

Many of us live in areas prone to storms or other game-changing weather events, but even those who don’t should prepare for emergency situations. Today, as we continue our preparations for Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the open Atlantic, my friend, Amy Goldman, takes the reins. With her broad background in AAC and AT and her incredible advocacy work, we are in no better hands. If you’re inclined toward prayers or even if you’re not, we here in South Florida could use any positive energy you can send our way. Stay safe, friends, and remember to take care of those around you. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: With the images of the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in front of us, and with Irma and possibly Jose in the forecast, it is actually a little late to be talking about emergency preparedness.  However, it is good to reflect on some of... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Storm Preparation and Recovery

September 4, 2017 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtical Resources: Storm Preparation and Recovery

Before, during, and after – storms can be scary business and people with AAC needs are among the most vulnerable in extreme weather events. Our neighbors in Texas and the Gulf Coast are recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, and we’ve got our eye on Hurricane Irma’s path. Here are some resources that you can explore to help in storm preparation and recovery. Hurricane Harvey Please consider helping however you can. Get or Give Help AAC Relief for for Hurricane Harvey organized by USSAAC, Communication Circles, Disability Connections,  and CERV of Monterey Matching donations by Prentke Romich Company Texas SLP Fund by Teachers Pay Teachers SLPs Therapy Materials for Flooded SLPs request TSTS Lite Version access (by email: Carrie@SpeechAndLanguageKids.com) Help for Harvey SLPs by Help for Harvey SLPs Facebook group Pass It On Reuse Center (for AT) Hurricane Resource page by Tobii Dynavox          ... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #36: September, 2017

September 3, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #36: September, 2017

And just like that, it’s ‘Goodbye, Summer’ and ‘Hello Fall.’ It’s been a busy time preparing for the transition, and you may have missed some posts from last week. Here’s what was shared: Monday – PrAACtically September: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Vocabulary Wednesday – Video of the Week: Keep It Fun, Flexible, & Available. AAC All Day Long in the Special Needs Classroom Thursday – PrAACtical Resources on Language Development :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Not enough reading material to browse? Here are some posts on AAC in the Classroom that may be of interest. AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills TELL ME: AAC in the Preschool Classroom How We Do It: AAC in the Special Education Classroom AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities – Implementation & Data Collection 5 Visual Supports for the AAC Classroom  

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PrAACtical Resources on Language Development

August 31, 2017 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtical Resources on Language Development

Are you planning language therapy or vocabulary instruction with AAC learners? For more than three decades, families, professionals, and people with complex communication needs have benefited from the insights and support of master clinician Gail Van Tatenhove. Among other things, Gail’s work has shaped the design of AAC technology and the practice of AAC in clinical and educational settings around the world. In today’s post, we share two of Gail’s resources on language development and academic vocabulary. Enjoy! Normal Language Acquisition & Children Using AAC Systems Academic Vocabulary

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PrAACtically September: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Vocabulary

August 28, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically September: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Vocabulary

Are you supporting AAC learners who have SGDs or communication boards/books with high-frequency words? If so, join us as we work to model, practice, and teach these words throughout the day. It can feel overwhelming, so we tend to focus on a subset of words each month. The Year of Core Vocabulary approach isn’t a developmental list of words to be introduced in a specific order, but rather a way of gradually exposing learners to more and more words over time. We do that by modeling them on their device or communication aid when we talk, and plan specific instructional activities to teach word meanings, play games to help them better recognize and understand the symbols for those words, and, elicit them frequently from those who are just learning their AAC systems. Our AAC friends need practice, practice, and more practice. Over time, they will gain more fluency and automaticity with the words in their AAC... [Read More...]

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