Tag Archive: ASD

Thank You for a PrAACtical Giveaway Celebration

July 8, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Thank You for A PrAACtical Giveaway

We wanted to sincerely thank everyone for making our  first ever giveaway a true PrAACtical AAC celebration.  It was so much fun (Thanks Speech Tree, Tech in Special Education, and Rafflecopter).  We hope to be doing more very soon.  We feel like we got to know so many of you and are very appreciative for your participation and interaction.   Congratulations to Jennifer, who is our  winner! We know that our  giveaway was about  AAC and since everyone could not win, we searched for other opportunities that would give you another chance to win or get funding for an AAC app. The iMums The iMums website has a Speech Tree App Giveaway until July 11th. iTaalk:   App Facilitator Program iTaalk has a program that will grant apps to applicants with a minimum cost of $25. There is an application process and not all requests can be accommodated but they try very... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for Behavior

July 7, 2012 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for Behavior

Rachel arrives to therapy tense and upset. Mauro gets frustrated when the clinician presents new activities. Brianna starts to bang the table when demands are placed on her. Zach becomes agitated when he has to wait for something he wants. – Like any set of tools and strategies, AAC works best when the communicator is relaxed, confident, and engaged. Our July Strategy of the Month focuses on PrAACtical Supports for Behavior. We hope to share ideas for planning therapy sessions that help AAC learners stay focused, calm, and engaged. — We’re big believers in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, what can we do to prevent or minimize problems like the ones experienced by Rachel, Mauro, Brianna, and Zach? The answers have to do with having clear and appropriate expectations, and using visual and AAC supports effectively. When used consistently, these strategies... [Read More...]

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Language and Self-Determination

July 1, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Language and Self-Determination

  Last month we discussed strategies for building language skills with people who use AAC. Learning to use those skills to speak up and advocate for yourself is another process altogether. In this week’s feature videos, we share a link to the work of Dr. Pat Mirenda, hosted on the wonderful SET-BC site. –

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AAC App Give-Away: It's a PrAACtical Celebration

June 30, 2012 by - 15 Comments

AAC App Give-Away: It's a PrAACtical Celebration

– “It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one. Two is two thousand times one.” (G.K. Chesterton, 1908) 1 budding blog 2 clinical educators 6 months of blogging 200+ posts 26,000+ page views – Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, or even the right one, but in this case, they’ll do just fine. – When we started this process in January, we had only a vague idea of what shape our blog would take. We only knew that the ‘old ways’ of sharing information weren’t having the impact we were looking for. We’ve had a great time learning about the blogosphere and now it’s time to celebrate! – Here in Florida, we can easily do that with another beach retreat, a lovely bottle of wine, and some relaxing al fresco dining. But we wanted to include you in the celebration... [Read More...]

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7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

June 29, 2012 by - 1 Comment

7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

We have ‘grown up’ with many of our students and their families.  We have learned from the students themselves, their parents, siblings, teachers, and their other SLP’s, OT’s, & ABA therapists. So when we recently met with a terrific mom and contemporary ABA therapist, we needed to speak about apps for adolescents (goals and activities had been discussed previously).  The student communicates and organizes herself through natural speech, the Dynavox Maestro, apps on the iTouch, & apps on the  iPad.  The student is now 16 and she cooks amazing food, hikes through the mountains of Switzerland, takes inventory for her school, types shopping lists, puts together scrapbooks, and does a lot more really cool things.  Here is the list of apps we recommended to support her favorite leisure &  literacy activities, and quest to be more & more independent. We only stopped giving more apps when ALL of us were... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Toolkit for ASD

April 29, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: Toolkit for ASD

– Where do you go after the diagnosis? Special Needs Resource Magazine has two amazing resources for families whose children were recently diagnosed with ASD. They shared two Autism Speaks’ guides, Autism and Asperger Toolkits for Families, both of which provide direction for the first 3 months after diagnosis. Each one contains lots of helpful information by respected professionals, such as Lynn Koegel, Wendy Stone, and others. There are very prAACtical tips, including an action plan, useful forms, and a safety guide. –

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30 Ways to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month

April 1, 2012 by - 2 Comments

30 Ways to Celebrate Autism Awareness Month

We love getting EVERYONE  involved in Autism Awareness Month.  We like to take a goal focused approach to our Autism Awareness Month activities by choosing projects that facilitate positive attitudes &  discussions.  We pass out materials, have contests, go to events, do extra talks, and try and engage EVERYONE we know and even some we do not know.  We do a lot of shopping (with small amount of money, but we have to EAT and accessorize).  Our families, pets, friends, and students all participate.  It is a month filled with purposeful fun.  Here are some of the things we will be doing. Please share any activities or projects that you know about.           Bake, share, & eat some desserts. Need inspiration?.. try these Puzzle Piece Rice Crispy Treats  Join the webinar  Autism Explosion by Dr. Coplan will be shown on April 4th at 6PM EST, through Re-Think Autism. Don’t... [Read More...]

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Moms Who Make the Sun Come Out

February 7, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Moms Who Make the Sun Come Out

Rainy days and movies go together like peanut butter and jelly. We had a dreary afternoon the other day and it seemed like we would never see the sun again. I settled in to watch a documentary that I’d bookmarked awhile ago but couldn’t quite bring myself to watch. Refrigerator Mothers is a look back to the 1950’s-60’s at the devastating experience that families of children with autism had during an era when medical professionals attributed the cause of ASD to poor mothering. It follows the stories of several American mothers and their adult children who were challenged by autism but traumatized by the professionals whose help they sought. – Surely we know better than this, right? One would thank that we’d never again blame families for causing a disability. And one would be wrong, as this article from the Huffington Post points out.   The Bruno Bettelheim era is... [Read More...]

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Speak Out: Conference Favorites

January 16, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Just returned from the 19th Annual Statewide Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) Conference (under full disclosure, I am the Director of the CARD Grant at NSU).  It was a very busy long weekend that began with a free pre-conference educators day and ended with one of  the  47 session options. I have tweeted some educational highlights that included a keynote by Dr. Amy Wetherby about the new  DSM 5  (thats right no more Roman Numeral) diagnostic features for Autism Spectrum Disorder (that’s right again, no ‘s’ on the end) and a dinner party talk by Dr. Temple Grandin (wow!).  I  tend to look at conference information as a teaser… first information is highlighted and then I do a more in-depth review and analysis into specifics that are related to me. Quick Info on My  First 3 Favorite Topics/Resources The Learning Curve– resources that include interesting and interactive  materials for teachers of... [Read More...]

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