Tag Archive: ASD

30 Ways to Support Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month

March 30, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

30 Ways to Support Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month

April is just around the corner and that means we’re getting ready to support the acceptance and inclusion of autistic people. Looking for ideas? Here are some to get you started. Treat yourself to some goodies from The Chocolate Spectrum (where you can order online, visit the cafe, or take a chocolate-making class) or other places that employ people with autism. Read and share 5 references that support the use of AAC & Autism. Help your family or community go beyond awareness and into acceptance.  Learn and share information about Autism Safety – Be AWAARE! Know an autistic MineCraft lover? Introduce them to AutCraft.  Educate yourself on terminology that relates to autism and people with ASD. We may have learned people-first language back in grad school, but there are different points of view on that. This is a great time to learn about identity-first language.  Apply your critical reasoning skills to... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Teaching in the Autism Classroom: Instructional Activities for Core Vocabulary

March 2, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #9: February 2017

“But I don’t have just one student who needs AAC in my class – I have a bunch! How can I work AAC teaching into an already hectic day?” Teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski are back with real-world suggestions for situations like these. Last year, they introduced us to Big Core, gave us tips for implementing it in the classroom, and explained how they integrate it into shared reading lessons and predictable chart writing activities. Today, they’re back with prAACtical information on how they provide explicit instruction on core vocabulary words. Amy and Lauren are public school teachers in Michigan who began teaching in resource rooms and moved to self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms in 2009. There was not much talk about core language when they started teaching and even less about incorporating into classroom lessons. AAC devices have changed a bit over the years, too. Initially, they worked with a 32-location core board on... [Read More...]

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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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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary

December 29, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom

We are closing out the year with a bang by combining two of our favorite things: working on AAC and literacy. In this post, Michigan-based teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski return to discuss their strategies for building communication skills in the context of writing activities. Enjoy their detailed descriptions of how they implement a 5-day writing sequence in their classrooms! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary If writing with your students is something you are apprehensive about, then Predictable Chart writing is a good place to start. You get a lot of bang for your buck, as you can work on many different concepts as you are instructing through the week.  Some areas you will be able to work on is location and meaning of core, concepts about print, print awareness and fine motor skills. Prior to starting your Predictable Chart Writing, you have to have a plan on which... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Improving Literacy Outcomes for Individuals with ASD and Limited Speech

November 23, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Video of the Week: Improving Literacy Outcomes for Individuals with ASD and Limited Speech

Looking for information on how to help people with autism and significant communication challenges become readers and writers? Dr. Janice Light has a full webinar on this topic that will certainly be of interest. Many thanks to the AAC RERC for the support in making this available to all.

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AAC and ASD: Beyond Scripting

November 3, 2016 by - 5 Comments

AAC and ASD: Beyond Scripting

Today, we welcome Dr. Kimberly Ho, SLP and Director of Speech, Language and AAC Services at Confidence Connection in Needham, Massachusetts. In this post, she discusses how professionals in her organization are supporting AAC learners with autism on the journey toward flexible, generative language. I am the Director of Speech, Language and AAC Services at an ABA clinic, so naturally we serve many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) of all ages.  A vast number of learners with ASD can speak, but their speech is not functional to meet their communication needs. We have begun to provide word-based AAC systems for these students to move beyond scripting. Many individuals with ASD “script.”  That is, they may not produce novel utterances, but rather chunks of phrases and sometimes entire sentences they have memorized.  Sometimes this scripting is based on a character from a TV show or movie. Other times the script has been memorized in... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Shared Reading

October 31, 2016 by - 3 Comments

We are pleased to have a return visit from special educators Lauren Pawlowski and Amy Devin with ideas for supporting AAC learners in the classroom. Amy and Lauren, who work in the public school system in Michigan, taught in resource rooms for years and have been teaching in self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms since 2009. At that time, there were few classrooms who were integrating  core language instruction, but they didn’t let that stop them. Currently, they use manual communication boards, large instructional core boards, and individual AAC devices with their students. They are passionate literacy teachers and, in today’s post, tell us about their approach to shared reading lessons. Their video is chock full of tips to help you make these lessons successful. Enjoy! Shared Reading: It’s Not What They Know, It’s What They THINK! Happy Fall AAC users and facilitators! This month we would like to share some of our tips for... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Thoughts on Social Skills Training from the 2016 CARD Conference

February 2, 2016 by - 3 Comments

PrAACtical Thoughts on Social Skills Training from the 2016 CARD Conference

I had a wonderful time this past weekend connecting with colleagues and learning from ASD experts at the 2016 Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) Conference in Orlando. One of the keynotes, “From Building Social Relationships to Improved Quality of Life Outcomes for Youth on the Autism Spectrum: We Finally Know What We Already Knew,” was given by Dr. Scott Bellini. I also attended his talk on the Building Social Relationships program. Here are some of the take-aways from those two sessions. Evidence Base  The evidence base for social skills training is variable. While his meta-analysis on school-based social skills training found that social skills interventions were minimally effective, there are several effective strategies that can be used in that and other settings. When evidence-based strategies, including video modeling and video self-modeling and social narratives, are used within the context of social skills training, the overall efficacy is much greater. The evidence... [Read More...]

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