Tag Archive: core vocabulary

How We Do It: AAC in the Special Education Classroom

December 5, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: AAC in the Special Education Classroom

At the ASHA Convention last month, I chatted with an SLP about her secret longing: To take a sabbatical and travel the world to see AAC in action. Wouldn’t that be exciting?! In the meantime, we’ll have to live vicariously and peek into AAC practices through the words and pictures of dedicated professionals. Angi Pearce, a teacher at Kowhai Special School in Hastings, New Zealand, was kind enough to help us out and share her experiences in increasing AAC use in her classroom. Angi is the team leader for the Junior School classes (ages 5-11) and graciously prepared this post with support from SLP Michelle Roberts. As you’ll see, Angi is a highly experienced educator but new to the world of AAC and not afraid to take risks and embrace change. Let’s take a look at how a veteran teacher stretched herself to incorporate more AAC into her classroom. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC IN THE CLASSROOM My... [Read More...]

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Site of the Month: Core Word Classroom

October 10, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Site of the Month: Core Word Classroom

Looking for materials that you can use to support AAC in educational settings? AssistiveWare’s newest venture, The Core Word Classroom, may be just what you are looking for.  While the materials align with their AAC app Proloquo2Go, the concepts, activity ideas, and planning tools have broad applicability. Jennifer Marden and Amanda Hartmann, who created most of the content for this new venture, introduce us to the site. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The AssistiveWare Core Word Classroom is a resource for anyone who is implementing a core word-based AAC system. The materials focus on teaching using core words, as well as expanding communication beyond requesting to all the reasons we communicate, and helping AAC users use the full grammatical possibilities of language. The classroom materials are built around a framework called the 3W’s:   WORDS – the core words that could be used for an activity   WHYS – the many different reasons why we communicate... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically October: A Year of Core Vocabulary Resources

September 29, 2016 by - 5 Comments

PrAACtically October: A Year of Core Vocabulary Resources

Know any AAC learners like these? Jeremiah has an SGD with thousands of core and fringe words, but he uses less than 100 of them in day-to-day life. Bella used an AAC app with visual scene displays to interact at playtime and during daily routines for the past several months. Her team just added an app with grid-based vocabulary so that she can begin to create novel sentences and expand her language abilities. Mason was recently evaluated for an AAC device, but it will likely take a few months to get the funding situation straightened out. In the meantime, his team created a manual communication board that mirrors the main screen of the SGD’s language software. Each of them need lots of practice to become fluent with the core words in their AAC systems. Are you looking for resources to support your use of core words in therapy, in the... [Read More...]

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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 Supports for Older Learners: AT Recipes for Success, Part 7

August 18, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Supports for Older Learners: AT Recipes for Success, Part 7

Welcome back to the PrAACtical Supports series, highlighting the work of the AT team at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). Meghan Reitz, an SLP who has worked at CHoR for over 3 years, returns to share activity ideas for older learners and downloadable handouts for their caregivers. She received her Master’s in SLP from the University of Virginia., which provides comprehensive services for pediatric healthcare. 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 throughout Central Virginia. Meghan has a passion for working... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 4

July 28, 2016 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 4

Thanks to all of you who have reached out with appreciation for Sara Barnhill’s guest series entitled PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner. Sara and her colleagues at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) are generously sharing some of the resources they created to help families implement AAC at home. Through CHoR’s AT Program, one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia, a series of parent-friendly handouts were created to help families in Central Virginia facilitate core vocabulary learning by their young children. In the final post, we get to play with dolls and beach balls. You can get the link to download these parent handouts at the end of the post. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Let’s Play with Core! Recipes for Success Abandonment of AAC systems is a recognized problem in the field of AT.  Therapists, teachers, and caregivers alike often feel uncomfortable and intimidated by AAC.  We can all acknowledge that “it takes a village,” but... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 2

July 14, 2016 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 2

Parent training? Check! Preschoolers? Check! Language and play? Check! Core vocabulary? Check! SLP Sara Barnhill is back to share some resources she created along with her colleagues at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). As a member of the Assistive Technology (AT) Core team, she 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 centers throughout Central Virginia. In this post, Sara shares two resources developed at the CHoR AT Program... [Read More...]

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Make It Monday: Manual Communication Boards with Core Vocabulary

July 11, 2016 by - 8 Comments

Make It Monday: Manual Communication Boards with Core Vocabulary

Welcome to Make It Monday, a series in which we hope to inspire your team to create communication boards and instructional materials for students who need or already use core vocabulary. In the first post, Getting Ready for a Core Vocabulary Journey, we talked about getting set up to make materials for expressive and receptive language use. Today, we get into making manual communication boards (MCBs). About Manual Communication Boards The term manual communication board refers to a ‘no-tech’ AAC support that students can use to express themselves. Typically printed on paper and laminated, most MCBs have grids of words organized by part of speech (e.g., verbs in one area, adjectives in another). MCBs that are designed for use in a particular activity, such as doing an art project or participating in Circle Time, are called activity-based communication displays, or ABCDs. ABCDs were very popular in the early days of... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 1

July 7, 2016 by - 3 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 1

One of the most gratifying things about the AAC field is being able to connect with talented professionals who love what they do and are passionate about supporting learners with little or no functional speech. I am humbled by the incredibly generous ways in which clinicians are supporting their clients and one another. Today’s post, by SLP Sara Barnhill, is a case in point. Sara has worked at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) for seven years.  She is a member of the Assistive Technology (AT) Core team and completes multiple AAC evaluations per week as well as AAC therapy.  Her caseload includes patients in clinics, out-patient therapy, and on the Transitional Care Unit which provides pediatric long-term care.  Through her specialty areas, Sara has discovered a love for sharing information and training others.  Sara has presented in multiple conferences at the local, state, and national levels.  Sara has... [Read More...]

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Getting Ready for a Core Vocabulary Journey

July 5, 2016 by - 7 Comments

Getting Ready for a Core Vocabulary Journey

Summer is a great time to prepare materials for the busy year ahead. Next week, we launch a new series, Make It Monday, to help you do just that. We’ll focus on creating one thing at a time so that you’re ready to start the school year with an ample supply of core vocabulary resources that you can use in therapy, instruction, and informal conversation. Later in the series, we’ll be making individual and classroom communication boards and instructional materials. For now, though, we’ll spend some time getting organized and prepared. Before you make the investment of time and resources, it helps to make a few key clinical/educational decisions. This will keep us from wasting color ink, laminating pouches, velcro, and, most of all, time. Here are the things to think about before you begin. Symbols In order to make AAC materials, you’ll need to decide on how language is... [Read More...]

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