Tag Archive: engagement

Strategy of the Month: Engagement Take-Aways

September 29, 2014 by - 1 Comment

We’ve been musing about engagement this month. Here are some final lessons we’ve learned along the way. “If you don’t believe in me, you won’t be a successful interventionist.” “Put yourself in my shoes once in awhile. Be aware of how much focus and effort it takes for me to cope with sensory input, breathe, swallow, and move so that you can plan activities at an appropriate level of difficulty.” “Set a top priority for the lesson, and let me focus on that. It’s hard to sustain interest and motivation when you make things challenging on ALL fronts: cognitive, linguistic, motoric. Pick one area in which to challenge me and let’s dive in!” “Make it worth my while to work hard. We all look for rewards and compensations that are proportionate to the effort expended. I’m no different than you in that respect.” “Provide me with age appropriate activities and materials.... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: How Clear Priorities and A Little Sacrifice Build Engagement

September 22, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: How Clear Priorities and A Little Sacrifice Build Engagement

We can’t complete our thoughts on engaging AAC learners without a bit of conversation around the topic of priorities. Here’s the main idea: Go into each activity having a clear priority for what you want to achieve. Everything else become negotiable. As SLPs, sometimes we want it all. We want therapy activities where the AAC learner initiates communications, uses new vocabulary, creates novel sentences, experiments with new grammatical forms, and kicks some morphological butt. We.want.it.all. After a few decades of being an AAC practitioner, I think I’m finally learning that trying to have it all isn’t always the best option. It isn’t about what I want, it’s about what my client needs. Sigh. In this approach, we look at the lesson or activity and create our “Must Have List.’ For Mayra, a kindergartner just learning to use symbols for the first time, our lessons ‘must’ be engaging, have high pay-off... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Understanding Our Learners

September 15, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: Understanding Our Learners

This month, we’re thinking about what it takes to create therapy sessions that engage our AAC learners. A big piece of that is challenging learners at an appropriate level. It’s a simple concept, but can be tricky to translate for an individual learner and task. As much as we try to, it’s hard to really get a feel for what our clients are experiencing. Our bodies work well, for the most part, so we don’t automatically account for differences in sensory processing, motor control, executive functioning, cognition, or memory. We try. We really do. But I’m not sure we do it as well as we hope to do. Revisiting these concepts as an intellectual exercise isn’t going to fix that, but for me (and maybe some of you), it can serve as a helpful reminder. Awareness Ours is an empathetic profession. Still, we don’t always truly understand what our clients... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Engaging the Learner

September 8, 2014 by - 2 Comments

Strategy of the Month: Engaging the Learner

Summer is over in our part of the world and that means we get the opportunity to work with a whole new crop of students and clients. There is so much for beginning clinicians to know about providing AAC services that it is intimidating at best and overwhelming in most cases. In previous posts we’ve written about expectations, goal-setting, intervention strategies, therapy activities, reinforcement, feedback, and the like. This month, we’ll focus on a construct that permeates everything: engagement We all know what it looks and feels like when a client is engaged, but how do we make that happen? Here are some thoughts. 1. Start by presuming that your client is a learner on his/her way to developing competence. Good intervention, consistent language models, the right tools, and plenty of practice will move them along the journey toward improved communication. It’s important that, as clinicians, we truly believe that.... [Read More...]

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