PrAACtically Printing: AAC Apps & SGDs

January 22, 2018 by - 1 Comment


Whether you are working with a traditional SGD or an AAC app, chances are, you want to print a ‘no tech’ version for modeling and/or as a backup communication aid.  We’ve shared printable communication boards and books on many previous occasions but here are links to some of the ones that are requested most frequently. Proloquo2Go Crescendo (English, Spanish, French, & Dutch) Snap + Core First (multiple sizes/layouts) LAMP Words for Life WordPower (many versions: regular and poster; some Spanish) Unity (with free PASS software) Speak for Yourself Core Samples Do you print and use other manual communication boards or posters? We’d love to hear about that.

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Building Linguistic Competence in AAC Learners: 3 Areas to Consider Targeting

January 18, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Building Linguistic Competence in AAC Learners: 3 Areas to Consider Targeting

For several years, those who specialize in supporting AAC learners have stressed the need to develop AAC systems and programming that go beyond the communicative function of requesting in order to target the ability to protest, reject, comment, etc. This has been an important trend that will empower users of AAC to express themselves in much fuller ways. What other things should we be targeting in order to help our clients and students become more linguistically competent? Here are some ideas for goal areas to consider. Temporal Markers: While no one can overstate the importance of talking about our current needs, interests, observations, and preferences, we have to be careful not to get stuck in the moment. It is also important for our AAC learners to develop the language skills to be able to talk about things that already happened or that will/might be happening. Why? Among other things, this... [Read More...]

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10 Tips for Starting AAC Therapy with Little Ones

January 16, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


10 Tips for Starting AAC Therapy with Little Ones

It’s exciting to see so many graduate student SLPs and new graduates who are interested in working with people with AAC needs. We hear from them frequently with questions about how to be effective in their therapy and the practical aspects of running a good therapy session. Here are some tips we frequently share with those who are starting to implement AAC with young children. Use a visual schedule for every session. The operative word there is ‘use.’ Making a schedule for our therapy is a great start, but unless we really use the schedule all throughout the session, it’s unlikely to provide many benefits. Go to it as soon as you get into the room, AND before and after every activity. (For those who are interested, there is more on making and effectively implementing visual schedules here. Trust the process. You will need to do this at least 4-8... [Read More...]

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It’s PrAACtically Martin Luther King Jr Day

January 11, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically Martin Luther King Jr Day

Looking for activities and books to help integrate AAC and language learning with content about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr? Here are some resources to explore. Acts of Kindness and Justice Martin Luther King Jr: Venn Diagram: Great for practice of core and fringe vocabulary, as well as information-giving (e.g., name, birthday) and comparing/contrasting Martin Luther King Jr I Have a Dream Speech: Wonderful for older learners and those focused on Tier 2 vocabulary, more complex sentences, main idea, narrative development, and inferencing. Martin Luther King Jr Holiday 5 Resources for AAC Learners  Visual Supports, Core Words, and Martin Luther King Core Values: Suggestions for Language Building with AAC Learners 

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PrAACtical Resources: AT and Transition Planning

January 8, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Resources: AT and Transition Planning

Moving from early intervention to preschool is a big step. Going from elementary school to middle school can be intimidating. Entering post-school life can be scary and overwhelming.   Transitions require planning and coordination, but when the individual uses some form of AT there is an even greater need for organization and forethought. In today’s post, we share a guidebook developed by The Family Center on Technology and Disability with helpful information that will benefit families and service providers alike. Enjoy!    

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Hold That Core: When Do You NOT Use a Core Vocabulary Approach?

January 4, 2018 by - 10 Comments


Hold That Core: When Do You NOT Use a Core Vocabulary Approach?

Thoughtful interventionists make AAC decisions based on the nature of the situation, not trends or personal preferences. Still, it’s easy to get caught up in the groundswell when you’ve been to a training, gotten hold of a promising resource, or had success with a particular approach. Core vocabulary has done a world of good for the AAC field as a whole and the individual clients we serve. But, like anything else, it’s not appropriate in all situations. When I was a doctoral student, poring over every issue of the new journal, AAC, I was struck by an editorial Dave Beukelman wrote, entitled “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” They were different times and different issues, but the sentiment still applies. In some cases, core vocabulary has become a shiny hammer that we seem to hold onto whether or not it will get the job done. There’s... [Read More...]

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Ushering in a New Year of AAC

January 2, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Ushering in a New Year of AAC

The new year brings hope and promise, something that the AAC community can always use a little more of. Here are some thoughts on strengthening our sustainability as AAC service providers as we embark on the upcoming year.  View our role in AAC as a marathon, not a sprint. Supporting AAC learners can be an overwhelming experience and requires staying power. Pace yourselves, AAC friends. We have to be in it for the long haul, and that means we can’t use up all of our energy in the first leg of the journey. It’s okay to go home even though there’s more left to do. Remember the flight attendant’s advice: Put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Keep learning. No matter how much you know about AAC, there is always more to learn. Whether it is reading journal articles to keep up with the latest research, viewing videos... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically January: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words

December 28, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically January: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words

As we wrap up another prAACtical year, we’re gearing up to model and teach some more core words to our AAC learners. If you have some prep time this week, join us! This is a great time to get the word cards and other materials for the Year of Words (Set 1; Set 2) ready to use with the AAC learners in our lives. Thanks to the generous spirit of PrAACtical AAC readers we have posts with a variety of resources: Templates for you to plug in your own symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words Minspeak/Unity version: Set 1  PCS versions: Set 1, Set 2 Speak for Yourself version: Set 2 SymbolStix version: Set 1 Lesson Pix: Set 1 Smarty Symbols: Set 1 words, Set 2 words CoughDrop: Set 1 words; Set 2 words WordPower: Set 1 words (Note: This is a large file that contains the resources for several versions of... [Read More...]

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