PrAACtically October: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

September 24, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically October: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

Know any AAC learners like these? Jeremiah has an SGD with thousands of core and fringe words, but he uses less than 100 of them in day-to-day life. Bella used an AAC app with visual scene displays to interact at playtime and during daily routines for the past several months. Her team just added an app with a grid-based vocabulary so that she can begin to create novel sentences and expand her language abilities. Mason was recently evaluated for an AAC device, but it will likely take a few months to get the funding situation straightened out. In the meantime, his team created a manual communication board that mirrors the main screen of the SGD’s language software. Each of them needs lots of practice to become fluent with the core words in their AAC systems. Are you looking for resources to support your use of core words in therapy, in... [Read More...]

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Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 5

September 20, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 5

Our AAC Training Series continues today and we are incredibly grateful to Tabi Jones-Wohleber for sharing these presentation materials with us. Today’s training materials center on a topic that is near and dear to my prAACtical heart: Using statements more often than questions. The instructional time for Module 5 is about 90-120 minutes which allows time for discussion and practice. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Model as a MASTER PAL Module 5: Statements More Than Questions Facilitator Guidelines STATEMENTS MORE THAN QUESTIONS Questions are necessary to help us learn about the things, people, and activities in our environment and beyond. However, interactions heavily weighted with questions do not often yield the quality exchanges required to build relationships, gain understanding, foster autonomous communication or facilitate initiation.  This module explores the power of statements (aka nondirective language and descriptive teaching) in shaping meaningful engagement for learning and socially interacting.  It includes interactive activities, video links, lots... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical AAC Question of the Month: Who Is On Your AAC Team?

September 17, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical AAC Question of the Month: Who Is On Your AAC Team?

Once a month we like to turn the tables and see how PrAACtical AAC readers respond to a quick question. Our first AAC Question of the Month asked: What AAC skill is your biggest strength? Here’s how readers weighed in.  Aided language input  38.1%  Coaching communication partners  9.5%  Assessment  8.3%  Creating visual supports  7.1%  Programming SGDs/AAC apps  6%  Teaching early communicative functions  6%  None, I don’t feel strong in any of these areas.  4.8%  Collaborating with other service providers  3.6%  Supporting AAC families  3.6%  Report-writing and documentation  2.4%  Supporting eye gaze users  2.4%  Signing  1.2%  PECS  1.2%   Today, we turn our attention to AAC teams and who is one them. In the textbook, there are lots of disciplines listed but there is probably wide variability in which ones actually participate in AAC teams in different parts of the world. Take a minute, if you can, to tell us which... [Read More...]

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Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 4

September 13, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 4

Ready for more AAC training materials? In today’s post, Tabi Jones-Wohleber is sharing another module in the MASTER PAL series. This 30-minute session focuses on the role of multiple modalities in AAC. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Model as a MASTER PAL Module 4: Accept Multiple Modalities Facilitator Guidelines We all use multiple modalities to communicate…speech, text, email, a gesture, facial expressions.  In much the same way we encourage young children to interact by assigning meaning to their gestures, expressions, and utterances, responding meaningfully to the communicative attempts of those who use AAC validates and encourages the effort.  Honor all modalities and respond by modeling AAC as much as possible(regardless of the modality used by the PWUAAC) teaches AAC.  Seize the opportunity to teach and expand language.  After all, multi-modal communication shapes the human experience. For this training you will need: The Presentation Slides The Presentation Handout The Facilitator’s Guide Warm-up Discussion: Thinking Prompt... [Read More...]

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Building Your AAC SLP Toolkit: Obtaining Free Apps for AAC Evaluations

September 10, 2018 by - 2 Comments


Building Your AAC SLP Toolkit: Obtaining Free Apps for AAC Evaluations

A carpenter without a hammer? A painter without a brush? A surgeon without a scalpel? No matter how skilled these professionals are, they can’t do their work without the tools necessary for the job. SLPs need their tools, too. Sometimes those tools are tangible items, like formal tests, mirrors, computers, and penlights. And sometimes those tools are less tangible, like software, digital subscriptions, and apps. Most service delivery settings where AAC evaluations take place (e.g., clinics, schools, hospitals), though, fail to provide SLPs with the adequate range of AAC tools they need to do their jobs well. And, as any practicing SLP knows, the budget for materials ranges from minimal to non-existent. So, what’s a clinician to do? Savvy SLPs have a variety of strategies for getting the resources they need. It’s disheartening that they need to even do this, but, for many, the reality is that either the SLPs... [Read More...]

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Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 3

September 6, 2018 by - 1 Comment


Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 3

Our training series continues with West Virginia-based SLP Tabi Jones-Wohleber, who works with the AT Team for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland and provides services to infants and toddlers in the West Virginia Birth to Three programs. In the first two posts, Tabi shared the Overview and Modeling modules and their accompanying resources. In today’s post, the training focuses on an important topic, motivation. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Model as a MASTER PAL Module 3: Motivate Facilitator Guidelines Genuine motivation goes well beyond gummies and goldfish; reinforcers are only one small part of the picture as we endeavor to understand what truly drives an individual’s desire to learn and communicate.  So much of the time it is the quality of the relationship and the meaningfulness of the interaction.  This module discusses the importance of motivation in learning and engaging, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, as well as the undesirable consequences that occur when lack of motivation... [Read More...]

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On Labor Day

September 3, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


On Labor Day

Here in the US, we are celebrating Labor Day and that gives us the opportunity to reflect on all things work-related. Join us as revisit some posts about AAC and the world of work. Enjoy! Transitioning to the Workplace: Resources for AAC Learners with Significant Disabilities Building an Awareness of AAC in Your Workplace  Starting AAC with Teens and Adults     Employment is for Everyone Learning About ACES 

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Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 2

August 30, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 2

It’s a good day to talk training and we’re incredibly grateful to SLP Tabi Jones-Wohleber for sharing her partner training resources with us. In addition to her work with the AT Team for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland, Tabi serves young children and their families at West Virginia Birth to Three programs. In the initial post, Tabi introduced the overview module and its accompanying resources. Today, we move onto Module 2 where the focus is on aided language input. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Modeling AAC is unquestionably a key component of teaching AAC.  Most frequenters of PrAACtical AAC understand that modeling is a naturalistic strategy that functions to support language development by SPEAKING YOUR WORDS.  However, misconceptions abound, which often results in modeling opportunities characterized as imitation or compliance tasks.  This module unpacks the imperative of modeling to provide a common understanding of what it is (and is not), and why it is a... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically September: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Vocabulary

August 27, 2018 by - 2 Comments


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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Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 1

August 23, 2018 by - 5 Comments


Building AAC Facilitation Skills with Tabi Jones-Wohleber: MASTER PAL Training, Module 1

Are you… Hoping to train team members to be better communication partners for their AAC students/clients but overwhelmed by the thought of all the preparation? Relatively new to AAC and not sure what content to share in your training? Looking for additional resources to utilize in your existing training sessions? Good news, AAC friends! This post is for you. We’re so happy to have SLP Tabi Jones-Wohleber returning to the blog to share more of her wonderful AAC resources. Tabi works with young children at the West Virginia Birth to Three program and serves on the AT Team for Frederick County Public Schools in Maryland. Today, she launches a new series on partner training that focuses on the use of aided language input and other facilitative strategies. There are 11 modules in all (1 overview for administrative discussions and 10 for communication partners) and each one includes slides, handouts, discussion prompts, links... [Read More...]

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