Have you had an experience like Stacy’s? Stacy SLP knows the importance of building literacy skills in her students who use AAC and was happy to have found an age respectful book that aligns with the curriculum. She downloaded it onto her iPad and practiced reading it so that the push-in session would go smoothly. Stacy reviewed the students’ SGDs and came up with a plan for targeting specific language or AAC skills. She was determined to infuse more literacy activities into her therapy and began the reading activity with equal measures of excitement and nervousness. It was both frustrating and disheartening when her students didn’t like the activity, were hard to engage, and even tried to escape. Within the first few minutes, her enthusiasm had turned to fear (’What do I do NOW?’) and dread (‘How am I going to get through this session?!’). Many of us have had... [Read More...]
It’s throwback Thursday! Today, we are revisiting some prior posts on the topic of helping parents, colleagues, and classroom staff learn ways to better support people who use AAC. Explore these past posts to get ideas for videos, download presentation slides, and peruse suggestions for hands-on activities to use in your training. Enjoy! How I Do it: AAC Inservices by Tabi Jones-Wohleber Hands-On Activities for AAC Training PrAACtical Ideas: AAC Core Vocabulary Practice for Workshops and Inservices How We Do It: S’MORRES and Partner Augmented Input with Dr. Jill Senner & Matthew Baud Video Explainers for Aided Language Input
Looking for information about how to incorporate AT into a student’s IEP? Today, we share a helpful guide, Assistive Technology and the IEP. Originally produced by the Family Center on Technology and Disability, this booklet has been republished by the Center on Technology and Disability. It provides a good overview of some of the important issues and is a great resource to share with families of students who use AAC. Click on the image below to review this guidebook.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to travel to conferences whenever we wished to soak up the AAC expertise from presenters around the world. Until then, we’ll keep posting links to handouts from conferences, workshops, and inservices with AAC content. Developing Language and Communication Power Usin a Core Vocabulary Classroom Approach by Gail Van Tatenhove Getting and Keeping AAC After High School Considerations for Transitioning Students who Use AAC Now, and Who Will Need AAC in the Future by Kathryn Helland AAC Strategies and Considerations for Children with Severe Speech Disorders: Not a Substitution, Just Part of the Solution by Erinn Fincke Life Before and After PECS: Reflections on Supports for Early Communication and Language by Cathy Binger Is the iPad the Best AAC Choice? by Nykki Montano
November’s Site of the Month is situated at the intersection of research, clinical/educational practices, and professional preparation. The Centre for AAC, housed at the University of Pretoria, has been serving the AAC community for over two decades. Their site has many helpful resources to explore. Highlights include: Links to many AAC research studies that CAAC has been involved with, including several with full-text access. AAC Resource Manual (selected chapters) AAC in the Home Setting up the AAC classroom for learning How to make an E-tran Talking Mats™ Information on their post-graduate programs in AAC Presentation handouts Communication boards focused on reporting abuse (available in many languages) Communication board for testifying in court Communication Bill of Rights You can learn more about CAAC by perusing past newsletters which are archived here.
Unless you have a family member with a disability, it’s hard to really understand the toll that specialized services and equipment take on their financial well-being. We’re always on the look-out for sources of support that can help these families. This is the first in a periodic series of posts that list some of the AAC-friendly grant resources open to individual families and clients. The plan is to grow this list and update it with new information, so please comment or email me through the blog if you know of other opportunities. Help is particularly needed for those outside the US. Here are a handful of grants that are AAC-friendly to get us started. CASANA: The iPads for Apraxia program funds iPads for children with apraxia in the US and Canada Small Steps in Speech: Funds supplemental therapies and provides some support to nonprofit organizations who serve very young kids with... [Read More...]
It’s just about time to turn another page on the calendar, and that means we’re busy preparing materials and activities for our November core words. Are you looking for some ways to help your AAC learners become more competent in using core words? Need to get staff on board with modeling core vocabulary? Trying to get familiar with where core words are stored in a particular SGD or AAC app? Here’s an approach you may want to try: Choose a dozen or so core words to focus on each month. In previous years, we shared lists of some core words to help you do just that. 2013: A Year of Core (12 words/month) 2014: A(nother) Year of Core (16 words/month; Note: These are different than the core words covered in 2013) Those posts have links to downloadable grids with the core words for each month that can be used as a focal... [Read More...]
Tagged With: A Year of Core Words
Looking for ways to engage AAC learners in language therapy? Today, we welcome back SLP Rachel Madel to tell us about her experience in using wordless videos. Her prAACtical tips will get you excited about using videos like these, curated by The Activity Tailor, in your lessons. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Using Animated Shorts to Build Language Skills with AAC Learners We are living in a digital age, where video content is often free and easy to access. Children on my caseload are tech savvy and are constantly dazzling me with how well they can navigate YouTube to find their favorite videos. Motivation is paramount in creating meaningful communication interactions and watching animated videos is highly motivating for both students and clinicians. I’ve had great success utilizing wordless videos in my practice and was lucky enough to present on the topic during “AAC After Work” with a fellow AAC colleague, Susan Berkowitz. In case... [Read More...]
Today, we look to South Africa to learn from AT specialist Desirae Pillay who shares her thoughts on using AAC for communicating at a distance. In an earlier post, Desirae shared her experience as an AAC parent. In the current post, she talks about things we don’t always think about when supporting people with AAC needs. The Power of AAC for Distance Communication I am an Assistive Technology Advisor for a company in South Africa and a parent to a young adult, Savannah Pillay who is cerebral palsied and autistic. As an advisor, it is my job to know of all the communication options that are available which includes knowing about unaided AAC options. I am a big fan of gesture dictionaries as I have seen how impactful it can be especially when using a multi-modal communication system. I am also a fan of AAC software that not only has... [Read More...]
How is AAC Awareness Month shaping up in your corner of the world? Our activities for this week involve reading and sharing. Pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a mug of coffee, or just settle into your favorite reading nook for some AAC reading. Get ready to participate in the AAC Read-a-Thon Read and share this AAC information kit Read with kids 5 Books Featuring Children who Use AAC Books for Beginning Readers of Any Age Send home some fun book extension activities that help families use AAC at home Grab a book! Check out the AAC offerings from some of these publishers: Attainment Company Brill Publishing LinguiSystems Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company Plural Publishing Inc. Pearson Rowman & Littlefield Routledge Woodbine House Other/Self-published By Betsy Furler By Susan Berkowitz (resource document) What did we miss? Leave your suggestions for AAC reading material below.
Tagged With: AAC Awareness Month