Tag Archive: core vocabulary

Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols

April 12, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols

Take a look at these pictures and try to guess their meanings. Now do it again with these symbols.   One more time with the symbols below.   We’re not gamblers by nature, but if we had to bet we’d say that you had a pretty easy time guessing the first two rows (backpack, banana, bathroom; sleep, wash, eat) and struggled with the last row (know, she, was/were). That presents a bit of a problem, actually, because it’s that last hard-to-guess row that contains important core vocabulary. And these kinds of core words are the ones we need to use frequently during the day. Looks like we have a bit of a dilemma: The symbols that are least transparent are important ones to teach. We often hear SLPs say that they want concrete symbols for some of their clients with AAC needs. We can certainly make that happen for some... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , , ,

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 8, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

New to teaching core vocabulary in AAC? On board with the concept? Know that it’s important but find it a little intimidating to teach? Welcome to the club! Actually, it’s quite a big club but you wouldn’t know it because lots of members are still closeted. That’s okay – no one here is going to ‘out’ you. But if you want to move forward in your AAC teaching journey, here are some things to try. Breathe and forgive yourself: It’s easy to feel like everyone else knows this but you. Not true. We tend to beat ourselves up for not being out ahead of the curve, but you know what? It’s not worth it. We’re all a work in progress, so let it go and just start where you are. As one of our favorite eminent scholars** has repeatedly said, “When you know better, you do better.” Get your own... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , ,

Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 6, 2013 by - 21 Comments

Teaching Core Vocabulary

Among the many changes that the AAC field has experienced in the last decade is the notion that core vocabulary is (or should be) an integral part of any AAC system. We grew to understand the limitations of AAC supports that consist primarily of nouns and descriptors, realizing that those kinds of communication displays restricted our clients to requesting and labeling. Our field realized the inadequacy of providing only prestored messages (e.g., limited the client’s ability to communicate anything novel, not flexible enough to meet most communication needs, etc.). In essence, we realized that without core vocabulary, we were imposing a ceiling on language development. We’re thrilled to see so many communication boards, books, SGDs, and AAC apps reflect this knowledge. Having tools with the appropriate vocabulary is a big step in the right direction. But to really shatter the ceiling of language development, we have to be good at... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , ,

How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

January 17, 2013 by - 26 Comments

How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

Nothing makes us happier than hearing AAC success stories. It’s thrilling to hear of folks who are using AAC tools and strategies to communicate effectively. We love hearing how their language develops and the positive changes that makes in their lives. It also makes us curious as to what made ‘this’ story a success story. One of our goals for the new year was to give PrAACtical AAC followers a look into the experiences of professionals outside their own communities. Last week, we introduced AACtual Therapy, a series of guest posts by SLPs who are willing to give us a peek into their AAC therapy sessions. Today, we introduce How I Do It, a series in which we invite SLPs to share how they tackle common issues, tasks, or problems. We’re excited to launch the series with a post from Lauren Enders, a clinician who supports the AAC community beyond... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , ,

Choices in Choicemaking

January 12, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Choices About Choicemaking

Choicemaking and requesting may be the most frequently targeted areas for beginning communicators who are starting out with their AAC systems. That makes sense for some learners because making choices is a very concrete focus for interaction and is loaded with motivational power. It seems pretty straightforward but, like anything else we do clinically, there are lots of decisions and choices to be made as we delve deeper into the process. How can we craft an AAC system that targets requesting for now, but also supports core language learning? For communicators who are at the earliest stages of making requests with AAC symbols, the strategy we discussed earlier this month or simple choice boards are a good starting point. But unless we quickly address where this is all going, the client will be strictly limited in their language learning. There are many ways to do this. Here is one approach.... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , , ,

A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

January 8, 2013 by - 10 Comments

A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

As clinicians, we frequently ask ourselves how we can help AAC learners become fluent with their core vocabulary words. A big part of the answer can be summed up in a word: Focus. The more we focus on those words, the more we can impact learning. There are lots of things competing for our attention, though, and sometimes we get distracted. Then it came to us: Visual supports work for SLP’s, too! When we saw another blogger post visual supports for sight word reading, we knew the idea had prAACtical application. So, we created 12 grids of core vocabulary words – one for each month of the year. Each grid has 12 cells labeled with core words. Plug in the AAC symbols that your client uses (e.g., PCS, SymbolStix, Unity, Pixons, etc), print, laminate, and keep them handy. Feel free to adapt the grids with other core words, if you... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: ,

Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

November 2, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

We were lucky enough to snag copies of Sentence Builder by AbiTalk when it was offered for free earlier this year and have had a great time with it. It comes with prepared lessons at two levels and the flexibility to create your own lessons. Here are some ideas for using the ready-made lessons to build language skills in AAC learners. Core Vocabulary: We’re always looking for ways to practice an initial lexicon of basic core words, like I, is, have, and can. These words appear with frequency in Sentence Builder, which makes it a great fit for learners working on that skill. Those of you using this app in a group may find that this offers a great opportunity for differentiating instruction in multi-level groups. Parts of Speech: In AAC therapy, we often focus on the part of speech since that it how many SGDs organize vocabulary. We like... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , , , , , , , , ,

Day 4 of ISAAC, 2012

August 1, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

ISAAC 2012, Day 4

Lots more ISAAC fun to tell about in Day 4! — My day started with a shorter version of the presentation on the preschool core language curriculum that I’m working on with Lori Wise. You can see the handout for that presentation here. — There is some fascinating work going on in the area in supporting the emotional development of children with AAC needs. Dr. Sarah Blackstone and colleagues talked about the developmental sequence in which emotional competence emerges.  They are working on an observation and interview tool used to collect information on a child’s emotional development and the caregiver strategies. They are planning a pilot study with the tool they are developing and actively looking for volunteers to use this tool with children who are developmentally between 12 months and 10 years. – Terry Foss and and Jane Korsten did an interesting presentation called Promptology 101 where they reviewed some... [Read More...]

Filed under:

Tagged With: , , , , , , ,