PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Apples

September 22, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Apples

We are so happy to welcome back SLP Karen Natoci who graciously agreed to continue writing about how she uses interactive book reading to build language skills with beginning communicators. You can see her earlier posts in the PrAACtically Reading series here. In this post, she shares activity ideas for two books on apples. You can learn more about Karen and download her materials toward the bottom of the post.  Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Books:  Apples by Ken Robbins and Apples for Everyone by Jill Esbaum               Adapted and simplified Powerpoint Book Apples by Karen Natoci Core Vocabulary focus: here, in, where Additional Vocabulary focus: Body parts; red, round, yellow, green, COMMUNICATION Matrix (Rowland, 2009) Level:  I-VII (all levels!) ————————————————————————————————————————————- It is September and apple time! I chose to feature these books from which to adapt material suitable for students with complex communication needs. I have a simplified power point... [Read More...]

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Teach Me Tuesday: Snap Scene and Pathways

September 20, 2016 by - 6 Comments


Teach Me Tuesday: Snap Scene and Pathways

We’re excited to hear from an increasing number of you who are exploring the use of visual scene (VSD) displays. In today’s post, we share some resources for one of the newest VSD apps, Snap Scene from Tobii Dynavox. Come learn along with us! Links to various versions of Snap Scene: Windows, I-Series, T-Series Full/Lite Version, iTunes Full Version, iTunes Lite Version Product overview Video demonstration Brochure Using Snap Scene at Home Snap Scene and Autism Pathways Companion App (free): Manuals, instructional videos, and other resources are available here Where to go for help: Phone – USA & Canada: 1-800-344-1778; UK: +44 114 307 23 64;Other countries:  +46 8 522 950 20 Email – support.na@tobiidynavox.com

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Site of the Month: Project Core

September 19, 2016 by - 3 Comments


Site of the Month: Project Core

Our Site of the Month addresses a topic relevant to many of you who serve AAC learners. The Project Core website is the public face of a research project looking at the use of an AAC intervention program that uses a consistent set of core vocabulary that grows with the learner over time. The multi-tiered system for augmenting language used in this project begins with extensive aided language input and explicit instruction of selected core words during meaningful interactions throughout the school day. This forms a foundation on which more specialized and individualized intervention and vocabulary selection is built. The project is part of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where the team has been developing a classroom-friendly intervention approach based on the System for Augmenting Language that was pioneered in the 1990s and continues to build an evidence base... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with ‘Bark, George’

September 15, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with 'Bark, George'

Thanks to all of you who have reached out with comments about the AT Recipes for Success and the wonderful resources shared by SLP Sara Barnhill and the AT Team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. They’ve been incredibly generous in sharing their work over the past several months. If you missed them over the summer, you can view previous posts here. As a member of the AT Core team, Sara is involved in AAC evaluations and therapy in the hospital’s clinics, out-patient program and Transitional Care Unit. CHoR’s AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia. The program provides AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of four SLPs, two OTs, one PT, and one Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is... [Read More...]

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Five AAC and Related Resources to Explore

September 12, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


Five AAC and Related Resources to Explore

From time to time, we get questions about resources for different aspects of AAC. Here are a few eclectic documents, presentations, and web logs that we’ve shared recently that might also be of interest to some of you. Happy exploring! AAC Basics and Implementation: How to Teach Students who “Talk with Technology” by Paul Visvader of the Boulder Valley School District AT Team  Using Visual Supports to Enhance Participation and Decrease Challenging Behavior in Individuals with Autism and CCN by Kimberly Ho  Fiona Writes Fiction (or Why AAC-Using Kids Need Word Play) by Heather Kirn Lanier  Communication Milestones (LinguaSystems) by Janet Lanza and Lynn Flahive  Limitless Stylus for People with Limited Hand Mobility by Venkat Rao

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PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with ‘Bear Wants More’

September 8, 2016 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with 'Bear Wants More'

Like many AAC professionals, SLP Sara Barnhill and the AT Team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, love to help families use activities like storybook reading to build language skills. They’ve been incredibly generous in sharing resources from their AT Recipes for Success project (you can view previous posts here). As a member of the AT Core team, Sara is involved in AAC evaluations and therapy in the hospital’s clinics, out-patient program and Transitional Care Unit. CHoR’s AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia. The program provides AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of four SLPs, two OTs, one PT, and one Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR therapy... [Read More...]

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AAC Intervention That Teaches More and Tests Less: Thoughts on Implementation

September 7, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Intervention That Teaches More and Tests Less: Thoughts on Implementation

In an earlier post, I shared a graphic on the ways that AAC skills are ‘taught’ versus ‘caught.’ Teaching AAC skills involves the use of specific instructional strategies that give learners information and experiences which result in them being able to communicate more effectively. In many instances, we set out to do just that, but end up with an interaction that ‘catches’ what the student already knows how to do, rather than helping them gain additional skills. There are a few important concepts here. They both have an important role. ‘Catching’ skills isn’t bad. We can do this to figure out what the learner already knows/can do, and give him/her practice with the skill so that it becomes faster and easier to produce. When our interactions ‘catch’ a skill, we’ve created (or taken advantage of) an opportunity for communication. That’s important BUT, it isn’t teaching them anything new. Our learners do... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for AAC Learners: AT Recipes for Success – Sensorimotor Activities

September 1, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Supports for AAC Learners: AT Recipes for Success - Sensorimotor Activities

It’s time to resume our PrAACtical Supports series, highlighting handout materials developed by Sara Barnhill and the AT team at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). Sara is an SLP who has has worked at CHoR for six+ years.  She is a member of the Assistive Technology Core team and VCU’s Center for Craniofacial Care team.  Her caseload includes patients in clinics, outpatient therapy, and on the Transitional Care Unit which provides pediatric long-term care.  The CHoR AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia, providing AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of 4 SLPs, 2 OTs, a PT, and a Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR therapy centers... [Read More...]

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors

August 31, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors

The month of August is almost over and we’ve saved the best for last. The month wouldn’t seem complete without hearing more of Vicki Clarke’s ideas on AAC assessment. In addition to many other things, Vicki’s practice, Dynamic Therapy Associates, does 50+ of these evaluations each year, both in the clinic and in school settings. In this post, Vicki shares some thoughts on assessing the AAC skills of people who use direct selection. As always, she packs in a lot of information and generously provides the protocol and data collection forms that she uses. You can explore some of her previous posts in the AAC Assessment Corner series here. * ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors I spent the morning with a great group of students at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Dr. Satterfield’s AAC class.  I was asked to talk with them about AAC assessment with an emphasis on... [Read More...]

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