Using Multiple AAC Symbol Sets and Systems with AAC Learners: Considerations for Thoughtful Interventionists

August 10, 2017 by - 3 Comments


Using Multiple AAC Symbol Sets and Systems with AAC Learners: Considerations for Thoughtful Interventionists

PCS, Pixons, Minspeak symbols, Smarty Symbols, Symbol Stix, CoughDrop Symbols, ARASAAC symbols, Mulberry symbols, Lesson Pix, Sclera symbols, and more. In terms of AAC symbol options, we are living in plentiful times.  It isn’t uncommon to see situations like Jonah’s. On a typical school day, Jonah is likely to encounter at least three types of pictures for the same words. He has Smarty Symbols on his AAC app and a classroom core board with PCS, and is using instructional materials using Symbol Stix. These are each great ways of visually representing language, but here’s something to think about: Does it help or hurt Jonah to have 3 different pictures for the same word? There are many options in symbol sets and systems, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some things to think about as you and your team are making these decisions. There is no empirical... [Read More...]

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5 AAC Downloads To Use and Share

July 31, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


5 AAC Downloads To Use and Share

Need a handout on AAC modeling? Want some AAC swag for your wall? Looking for a way to assess classroom communication opportunities? Today we revisit some tools from previous posts. Feel free to download and share. AAC: Model It! Handout by the AT Team at Orange County Public Schools  Caught or Taught?  Recognize someone who supports AAC Teach AAC Facebook Cover Image Classroom Observation Tool (COCOA)   

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Throwback Thursday: Support for Beginning AAC Communicators

July 27, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Throwback Thursday: Support for Beginning AAC Communicators

Do you work with people who are just starting to get the hang of communicating with symbols and using SGDs? Today. we’re revisiting some posts that may have some helpful information on ways to support beginning users of AAC. Recommended Practices for Beginning Communicators  Using Symbols with Beginning Communicators  5 Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators  Helping Beginning Communicators Expand Their Sentences  A PrAACtical Literacy Activity for Beginning Communicators 

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PrAACtically August: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

July 24, 2017 by - 2 Comments


PrAACtically August: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

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...]

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5 Ways to Make Semantic Maps More Effective in AAC Therapy

July 17, 2017 by - 1 Comment


5 Ways to Make Semantic Maps More Effective in AAC Therapy

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...]

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Throwback Thursday: Core Vocabulary, AAC Resources and Beyond

July 13, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Throwback Thursday: Core Vocabulary and Beyond

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? —

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3 Presentation Handouts on Core Vocabulary Implementation

July 10, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


3 Presentation Handouts on Core Vocabulary Implementation

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!  

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 28: July 2017

July 9, 2017 by - 1 Comment


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 28: July 2017

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

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PrAACtical Questions with Vicki Clarke: What’s the Role of Core Vocabulary?

July 6, 2017 by - 2 Comments


PrAACtical Questions: What's the Role of Core Vocabulary?

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...]

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