Tag Archive: beginning communicator

Video of the Week: Strategies for Helping Early AAC Users Engage and Interact

September 5, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Strategies for Helping Early AAC Users Engage and Interact

“He has an AAC device but he doesn’t use it much.” “I have great toys but she doesn’t seem to like any of them.” “How can I build language if he doesn’t want to interact with me?” “The only time she uses her SGD is to ask for things.” Connecting with clients who are beginning to use AAC and helping them use their communication tools is a challenge in some clinical and educational settings. Today, we revisit a session from CoughDrop’s 2nd Annual AAC in the Cloud conference held last spring, to get some prAACtical advice about building engagement and interaction. In our featured video, SLP Chana Feinstein of All Kinds of Voices provides concrete suggestions that will help our beginning communicators want to communicate and use their AAC devices for a variety of purposes. We are grateful to CoughDrop for hosting this wonderful conference and allowing us all to... [Read More...]

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: Evaluating Skills For Use of Comprehensive AAC Systems, Part 2: Language Representation Elements – Noun Symbol Use for Functional Communication

June 11, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: Evaluating Skills For Use of Comprehensive AAC Systems, Part 2: Language Representation Elements - Noun Symbol Use for Functional Communication

Vicki Clarke, CEO of Dynamic Therapy Associates and Director of DTA Schools, is back with another wonderful edition of AAC Assessment Corner.  In addition to their clinic, Vicki and her team support school districts in AAC evaluation, equipment procurement, and implementation for individual students in the academic environment.  DTA Schools also supports district-wide AAC implementation through the Classroom Communication Goals Project, training, and supporting all team members in classroom AAC implementation. In today’s post, Vicki shares her thoughts on how we can look at the use of AAC symbols for nouns as part of our evaluations for comprehensive AAC systems. You can view her previous contributions to the AAC Assessment Corner here. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Evaluating Skills For Use of Comprehensive AAC Systems, Part 2: Language Representation Elements – Noun Symbol Use for Functional Communication It was a crazy, busy month full of evaluations, trainings, and report writing.  I’ve spent a lot of time with... [Read More...]

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On the Same Page: Helping Team Members Recognize and Respond to Unconventional Communication Signals

April 30, 2018 by - 3 Comments

On the Same Page: Helping Team Members Recognize and Respond to Unconventional Communication Signals

Joaquin grabs my wrists when he wants me to play. Ariella bangs her fists together when she wants more of something. Brayden paces anxiously when he needs to use the restroom. Do you work learners like these? Beginning communicators often use signals that are unconventional to express their emotional states, wants, needs, and ideas. That can work really well when the people in their lives recognize those signals and respond to the communicator’s intent. But when the signals are subtle or idiosyncratic, team members may miss them or misinterpret them. That’s unfortunate because when we accidentally ignore the beginning communicator’s signal or when we don’t respond in a way that reinforces their use, communication progress stalls out. One way to help get everyone on board in recognizing those unconventional or subtle forms of communication is to create learner-specific ‘dictionaries’ that help those who are not intimately familiar with the individual... [Read More...]

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Throwback Thursday: Support for Beginning AAC Communicators

July 27, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Throwback Thursday: Support for Beginning AAC Communicators

Do you work with people who are just starting to get the hang of communicating with symbols and using SGDs? Today. we’re revisiting some posts that may have some helpful information on ways to support beginning users of AAC. Recommended Practices for Beginning Communicators  Using Symbols with Beginning Communicators  5 Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators  Helping Beginning Communicators Expand Their Sentences  A PrAACtical Literacy Activity for Beginning Communicators 

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Data Collection for the Beginning AAC User: Essential Things to Measure to Expedite Progress

February 16, 2017 by - 11 Comments

Data Collection for the Beginning AAC User: Essential Things to Measure to Expedite Progress

It’s exciting to see more and more teams on the road to implementing AAC in therapy and in the classroom. Often, though, our initial expectations for student progress don’t pan out. Consider these examples. Aleksander’s SGD has robust vocabulary that is customized specifically for him. He uses it consistently at snack and lunch time, but rarely uses it in other activities. Ariel uses her AAC app to ask for things, make comments, and answer questions but rarely goes beyond the single word level to express herself. Jayson had a PECS book for over a year and learned to request his favorite foods but not much else. His team switched Jayson over to a more robust AAC system, and while he learned to communicate for other reasons, he still doesn’t use his communication book very frequently unless he’s prompted to do so. Do these situations seem vaguely familiar? Helping AAC learners become... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities – Implementation & Data Collection

July 13, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities - Implementation & Data Collection

Today, we head back to AbleNet University for the second part of AT specialist and consultant Kelly Fonner’s presentation on advancing the communication skills of students with the most significant disabilities. In this video, Kelly goes deeper into implementation issues and discusses strategies for meaningful data collection. Missed the first part? You can check that out here. Kudos to Kelly and AbleNet University for hosting this series and making these videos freely available.   Direct Link to Video: https://www.ablenetinc.com/resources/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Fonner-AAC-in-the-Classroom-for-Students-with-Significant-Disabilities-Implementation-and-Data-Collection-on-Low-Tech-AAC-and-Apps.mp4

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Video of the Week: AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities

July 6, 2016 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: AAC in the Classroom for Students with Significant Disabilities

Most classrooms that include children with the most significant disabilities are comfortable with low tech AT and use it frequently throughout the day. In today’s video, AT consultant Kelly Fonner, discusses strategies for maximizing the use of those technologies and progressing to more advanced communicative options. A frequent presenter at international, national, and state conferences, Kelly shares ideas for taking what already works in these classrooms and moving to the next level. As always, she provides clear explanations, rationales, and the all-important ‘how-to’ for implementing additional strategies and technologies. Many thanks to Kelly and AbleNet University for making this video available.   Direct Link to Video: https://www.ablenetinc.com/customer/account/login?referer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYWJsZW5ldGluYy5jb20vcmVzb3VyY2VzL3JlY29yZGVkX3dlYmluYXJzP3M9a2VsbHkrZm9ubmVyJnNvcnQ9JnBvc3RfdHlwZT1yZWNvcmRlZF93ZWJpbmFycw

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Video of the Week: Observational Assessment of Beginning Communicators

June 22, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Observational Assessment of Beginning Communicators

In last week’s video, we heard from SLP Maureen Nevers about the principles and practices used in assessing individuals who are at the beginning stages of communicative development. Today, we continue that theme and focus more specifically on using observation to collect assessment data on the form and function of communication. In this video, Maureen works through some video examples to demonstrate how brief observations of interaction can yield useful information about how and why the individual is communicating. You can visit their Communication Training Series webpage to see more from this wonderful team and get the specific resource documents for this presentation. Many thanks to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation for creating and sharing these videos. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qvvKNZEGMs&list=PLihsTkrStCHZVZBHDC0Qr7z10cYWC0ltx&index=36  

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Video of the Week: Assessment of the Beginning Communicator

June 15, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Video of the Week: Assessment of the Beginning Communicator

Looking to strengthen your assessment practices with beginning users of AAC? The Angelman Syndrome Foundation’s Communication Training Series has a two-part presentation on this topic that will be of interest to professionals and families alike. In this video, SLP Maureen Nevers discusses a range of prAACtical strategies and tools for gathering meaningful assessment data that helps guide intervention. One important note: Don’t skip this just because you are not currently working with individuals who have Angelman Syndrome. Like their other videos, the information in this presentation is relevant to those working with children, teens, and adults with a wide range of developmental disabilities. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrsr8a2EKA&index=35&list=PLihsTkrStCHZVZBHDC0Qr7z10cYWC0ltx Kudos to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation for this outstanding series of training videos, and for making them freely available. Interested in this topic? Stay tuned for the second video on this topic in a future post.

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Assessment for Emergent Communicators

June 1, 2016 by - 2 Comments

AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Assessment for Emergent Communicators

Today, we welcome back Vicki Clarke with more helpful information on conducting AAC assessments. If you work with individual who are at the early stages of communicative development, this post is for you! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Some of my most favorite students are those who, at first, may not seem to notice me at all.   Sometimes these students seem to exist in their own worlds.  They don’t seem to respond in ways we would expect: looking, attending, listening, or gesturing.  They may have a diagnosis of Autism, significant developmental delay, epilepsy, or any number of syndromes. I love these kids, and unfortunately, these are often the students who don’t get referred to me.  Sometimes it takes years of working in a district before I get to see students with significant developmental delays.  These children are typically served in classrooms for students considered to be severe/profound or multi-handicapped.  Honestly, I usually get the... [Read More...]

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