Video of the Week: Developing a Personal AAC System

March 15, 2017 by - 1 Comment


Video of the Week: Developing a Personal AAC System

We’re back to learn more from Gail Van Tatenhove with more in the Power AAC series from PaTTAN. In this video, Gail reviews key concepts in developing a multi-component AAC system that meets the needs of an individual learner. This is a great resource for helping teams make the important decisions that lead to a set of individualized AAC tools or evaluate their students’ current AAC systems to see where adjustments might be needed. We’re grateful to Gail and to PaTTAN for this wonderful series. Be sure to download the handouts in the Links and Downloads section.  

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Video of the Week – Classroom Practices: From ‘Some AAC’ to ‘Good AAC’

March 8, 2017 by - 1 Comment


Video of the Week - Classroom Practices: From ‘Some AAC’ to ‘Good AAC'

The good news is plentiful. A growing number of classrooms incorporate some form of AAC. Teachers and therapists are increasingly aware of the value of augmentative forms of communication and are recognizing the potential for communication growth in all of their students. School teams are stepping up to provide access to activity-based communication boards, communication books, low tech SGDs, and AAC apps. They are creating opportunities for teaching and using these forms of AAC in specific classroom activities. In many cases, teachers and therapists are growing dissatisfied with the outcomes. Students are more engaged in the activities are improving their ability to participate appropriately. They aren’t always becoming competent communicators who can express themselves independently throughout the day. It’s frustrating to scramble to find and/or create materials and resources, make significant changes to activities, work hard to implement them, and still not get the expected outcome. It’s exhausting. It’s disappointing,... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Environmental Communication Teaching

March 1, 2017 by - 2 Comments


Video of the Week: Environmental Communication Teaching

Back in the late 1980’s when I was doing my doctoral work at Purdue University, there was exciting research going on in classroom-based AAC intervention. Environmental Communication Teaching (ECT) has been through some changes in the past 25+ years, but it is still a powerful approach to helping teams support learners with complex communication needs. In today’s video, we feature Kelly Fonner discussing ECT as part of a webinar made possible by the Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia. You can download the accompanying handout here.  Enjoy! Many thanks to the  Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia for making this available.

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Video of the Week: Using Structure to Support Participation

February 15, 2017 by - 1 Comment


Video of the Week: Using Structure to Support Participation

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Sally SLP planned an adorable craft activity, but her students with autism and AAC needs just didn’t take to it. Tara Teacher brought out some age-respectful stickers to decorate cards, but several of the students stopped after placing just one sticker and got frustrated when encouraged to add more. Olivia OT pushed into the classroom as they were painting hearts to help with fine motor skill development, but some of the kids resisted doing anything more than a few brush strokes. Sound familiar? Art activities offer great potential for communication learning and practice, but they aren’t always preferred activities for some of our AAC students. There can be several good reasons for that, but a common problem is that the activity itself may be too open-ended. Some of our students do best with activities that have a clear beginning and ending. Open-ended activities, like many of... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Designing & Using Visual Supports for Older Students

February 8, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Video of the Week: Designing & Using Visual Supports for Older Students

Chances are, you are already using visual supports with your AAC learners. If they aren’t as effective as you imagined they would be, or if you need ideas for how to make them more appropriate for middle and high school students, this video is worth watching. Karine Gleason helps us learn more about making age respectful visual boundaries, cues, and schedules, and gives us tips for fine-tuning our implementation. Many thanks to TASN and the Tri-State Autism Spectrum Disorder Network for making and sharing this video.

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Video of the Week: Mobilizing the Power Of Special Interests

February 1, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Video of the Week: Mobilizing the Power Of Special Interests

Gaby is a huge Miami Dolphins fan and is dying to share the latest team stats with anyone she meets. Thomas knows all there is to know about rocks and isn’t shy about telling you lots of facts about them. Antonio is fascinated by washing machines and Simone could look at doors from sunrise to sundown. When individuals with AAC needs have an intense interest in a particular topic, service providers sometimes struggle with how to respond to these interests. How do we respect the individual and support their growth? Are these ‘obsessions’ that should be discouraged or preferences that should be honored? Do we incorporate these materials into our intervention or avoid them? What strategies can we use to use their special interests in a supportive and beneficial way? When dealing with learners who have strong interests in specific topics, professionals have many questions about how to proceed. In today’s... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Embedding AAC Throughout the Day

January 25, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Video of the Week: Embedding AAC Throughout the Day

Looking for ways to help others use AAC more frequently throughout the day? Today, we return to The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to view video on this topic. We love the clear explanations, solid rationales, and helpful tips in this video. For more information on the Universal Core Vocabulary they discuss, as well as downloadable communication materials, and professional development materials, explore the Project Core website. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhJ1B8h8Hd0&feature=youtu.be

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Video of the Week: Supporting Preschoolers with AAC Needs-A Case Study

January 18, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Video of the Week: Supporting Preschoolers with AAC Needs-A Case Study

What’s something that both AAC novices and experienced interventionists have in common? We all appreciate the opportunity to see AAC in action, particularly when we get some insight into how communication and language develops over time. In today’s featured video, we return to TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports in Kansas for a case study. Be sure to check out the accompanying resources on their site after you view the video. Enjoy!  

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Video of the Week: A School-based Approach for Supporting the AT Needs of Young Children

January 11, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Video of the Week: A School-based Approach for Supporting the AT Needs of Young Children

We’re excited by the growing number of professionals who support the AT needs of young children, and, like many of you, always appreciate learning more about the practices of agencies and school systems that have initiatives in this area. It takes a lot of courage to share your practices and approaches, and we respect those organizations willing to do so. In today’s video, we learn about the processes in place in Fairfax County, Virginia which serves approximately 25,000 special education students. Dr. Cheryl Temple and her colleagues Celeste Rodrigo and Malia Waller, explain their process for supporting young children with AT needs, including AAC, in early childhood and preschool classrooms.  Many thanks to the Center on Technology and Disability for hosting this webinar and making the recording available. AT Assessments and Interventions: Tots Can Tech, Too   You can access the handouts for this session from the CTD website here... [Read More...]

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