PrAACtical Resources: AAC Info to Use & Share

March 1, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Resources: AAC Info to Use & Share

Looking for information on alternative access for kids with significant motor limitations? Need a basic overview of communication and AAC for a para, parent, or colleague? Wanting to explore a variety of AAC resources? Check out the resources below. Working with Nonverbal Students with Autism: This was written by Susan Stokes under a contract with CESA 7 and funded by a discretionary grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. AAC Basics from Louisiana Assistive Technology Initiative’s AT Answers Indirect Access by Justin Sims Enjoy!

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

February 26, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


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

Do the AAC users in your life use only a fraction of the core words in their SGD, AAC app, or communication board? One way to help them move forward is to make a concerted effort to use, highlight, and provide additional teaching on a variety of words. It’s hard to do this without getting overwhelmed, so find a strategy that works for you.  A few years ago, we decided to approach this by focusing on 12-16 core words each month. (If this is too much for the teams with whom you work, that’s not a problem. Just cut it back to 4-6 words/month.) Each month, we can highlight those words in our conversation (aided language input), direct intervention, and home programming activities with AAC learners. The repeated experiences with those 12-16 (or 4-6) words helps our AAC learners develop new skills, and keeps the team focused on the same destination.  It’s... [Read More...]

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Dealing with Feelings: 5 Ways to Encourage Emotion-related Expression by AAC Learners

February 22, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Dealing with Feelings: 5 Ways to Encourage Emotion-related Expression by AAC Learners

Words for emotions and feelings are pretty common in AAC devices and non-electronic communication aids, like PODD books and eye gaze boards. It’s wonderful when our clients can tell us they are sad or angry with words rather than using challenging behaviors or suffering in silence. What can we do to further their skills in this area? Here are some suggestions to get us thinking. Beyond the Basics: Consider going beyond the basic feeling words (i.e., happy, sad, mad, tired, scared) and including additional emotion words in the AAC system (e.g., frustrated, embarrassed, disappointed, lonely, worried). Don’t assume that this is inappropriate just because an individual has lower language levels or cognitive delays. To learn language, we have to have access to it. Model, model, model: Use these emotion words throughout the day to express your own feelings, and narrate your observations of how others are feeling (e.g., “Joey’s crying... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Scholarly Articles on Aided AAC

February 19, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Resources: Scholarly Articles on Aided AAC

Today we are excited to share a wonderful collection of articles that help to expand the theoretical underpinnings and empirical knowledge base in AAC. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication journal is providing free access to six articles that are part of an ongoing international collaboration of researchers and clinicians in 16 nations. You can access articles from this project, entitled “Becoming an Aided Communicator: Aided Language Skills in Children aged 5–15 years: A Multi-site and Cross-cultural Investigation,” below. Kudos to the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) and the journal co-editors (Drs. Martine Smith and Bronwyn Hemsley) and Dr. von Tetzchner for making this special issue so widely available. We hope you enjoy reading Aided Language Processes, Development, and Use: An International Perspective.

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PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Yo! Yes?

February 12, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Yo! Yes?

Karen Natoci’s first book of the year is packed with fun and AAC potential. Karen is currently an AAC Supervisor with The Speech Pathology Group in Walnut Creek, California. Over the years, Karen has supported AAC learners in several capacities. You can see previous posts that Karen contributed here. Today, she talks about ways to build language and communication in this flexible book. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Book:    Yo! Yes?  By Chris Raschka (Orchard Books, Scholastic, Inc. New York) It’s February, the beginning of the second half of the school year. Let’s make a new friend! This beautiful book was first shared during the Literacy Intensive Course with coached by the wonderful Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver in Michigan.  It is a book with few words but with much emotion. Here are some ways to use this book in your classroom. You can read this as is by using core words exclusively It offers... [Read More...]

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Resources to Review from the #ATIA2018 Conference

February 8, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Resources to Review from the #ATIA2018 Conference

Last week’s ATIA Conference in Orlando was packed with AAC energy, excitement about tools, and enthusiasm for learning ways in which professionals are supporting AAC learners at home, in school, and in the community. We’ll be sharing takeaways from that event over the next few weeks. Here are a couple of resources and handouts on access, professional development, and accessibility to get you started. The Access Learning Process (ALP) for AAC  introduced a wonderful framework for supporting AAC learners who use alternative access.  Power Up Your Professional Development with AT Focused Social Media Creating Inclusive Classrooms with Microsoft Accessibility  Did you attend a session or learn about an AAC resource that needs to be shared? We’d love to hear about it.

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PrAACtically Valentine’s Day: 5 Activity Ideas for AAC Learning

February 5, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically Valentine’s Day: 5 Activity Ideas for AAC Learning

The novelty of a holiday creates the opportunity for fun and motivating activities that we can use to teach and practice language, literacy, and AAC skills. If you’re looking for a few more Valentine’s Day activities, we have some ideas for you to explore. Core Words to Target Pronouns: I, you, it, we Action verbs: do, go, give, get, help, know, like, open, read, see, take, want Phrasal verbs: put in/on, take out Locatives: here, there Modifiers: bad, big, fun, good, little, more, some Social words: hi, thank you Determiners: this, these Interrogatives: how, what, who, where Activity-specific Words to Target Colors, shapes People: boy, girl, child, teacher Verbs: paint, squeeze, write Descriptors: nice, smelly, squishy, sticky Nouns: marker, orange (fruit), paint Activity Suggestions Do some Heart Stamping Get gooey while making and playing with Valentine Slime   Read a book about kindness like The Nice Book,  The Invisible Boy, or Somebody... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #6: February, 2018

February 4, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #6: February, 2018

Busy week? Same here! We’ll fill you in on the AAC goodness from the ATIA 2018 Conference later in the week. In the meantime, here are a handful of posts you might have missed. Monday: PrAACtically February – AAC Resources for a Year of Core Words Wednesday: Video of the Week – Reading with AAC Across the Stages of Language Development ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: And if you’d like to keep browsing, check out these past posts on access issues in AAC. AAC Access for Individuals with Significant Motor Limitations Through Partner Assisted Scanning Make It PrAACtical: DIY Switch-accessible Scanner Assessing Barriers to Access for AAC Learners More on Assessing Barriers to Access for AAC Learners Seating and Positioning for AT Access AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: The Eyes Have It-Assessment Considerations for High Tech Eye Gaze Access 

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PrAACtically February: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Words

January 29, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically February: Resources for a Year of Core Words

As prepare to bid January a fond farewell, we’re looking ahead to ways we can highlight more of the core vocabulary words in our clients’ AAC devices and communication aids. One approach to boosting practice opportunities is to select a dozen or so core words to focus on each month. Throughout the month, we can then pay special attention to that small group of words by highlighting them with focused language stimulation, aided language input, and specific activities designed to teach or practice those words. In previous years, we shared lists of some core words to help you do just that and every month we share some ideas for prioritizing a small set of words. You can use these materials to remind yourself which words to highlight this month, with using aided language input and focused language stimulation. What else? Here are some ideas to get you started. Print them and... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #5: January, 2018

January 28, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #5: January, 2018

We’re just about ready to turn the calendar page to a new month, but before we do, take a look at some posts from our prAACtical week. Monday –  PrAACtically Printing: AAC Apps & SGDs Wednesday – Video of the Week: Teaching Peers to Interact with Young Children Who Use AAC Thursday –  PrAACtical Resources: Building Our Skills in Interactive Book Reading ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: And while we’re packing up for the 2018 ATIA Conference in Orlando, here are some posts with handouts and such from previous years for you to browse through. 5 AAC-related Handouts from ATIA 2015 Fun Finds at ATIA 2015 3 AAC Presentation Handouts You May Have Missed PrAACtical Fun A PrAACtical Idea for Aided Language Input If you’re headed to Orlando for the 2018 ATIA Conference, I hope to see you there. Come say hello! Tuesday 4:30 – Strand Advisor Meet and Greet at the Cabana Area between Towers 2... [Read More...]

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