Tag Archive: implementation ideas

PrAACtical Teaching in the Autism Classroom: Instructional Activities for Core Vocabulary

March 2, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #9: February 2017

“But I don’t have just one student who needs AAC in my class – I have a bunch! How can I work AAC teaching into an already hectic day?” Teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski are back with real-world suggestions for situations like these. Last year, they introduced us to Big Core, gave us tips for implementing it in the classroom, and explained how they integrate it into shared reading lessons and predictable chart writing activities. Today, they’re back with prAACtical information on how they provide explicit instruction on core vocabulary words. Amy and Lauren are public school teachers in Michigan who began teaching in resource rooms and moved to self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms in 2009. There was not much talk about core language when they started teaching and even less about incorporating into classroom lessons. AAC devices have changed a bit over the years, too. Initially, they worked with a 32-location core board on... [Read More...]

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Reducing Prompt Dependence in AAC Learners: 5 Things to Try

January 26, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Reducing Prompt Dependence in AAC Learners: 5 Things to Try

“He knows what to do. He just doesn’t do it.” “He’s prompt-dependent. How can I get him to use AAC on his own?” “I love his strong-willed nature, but it works against him sometimes. He doesn’t initiate.” If any of these remarks sound familiar, it may be time to think about alternative approaches to build independent communication. Here are a few things to try with AAC users who’ve learned to wait for support before communicating. Exaggerate the pause time: Many of our AAC learners need at least 5 seconds of pause time after a communication opportunity presents itself. This helps them process the experience, organize their thoughts, decide on a response, and then begin to execute that response. Sometimes, though, we work with people who’ve learned that if they just wait, the communication partner will start to help (whether or not they need it). We can sometimes nudge the learner... [Read More...]

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AAC and Emergent Literacy: 5 Posts with Implementation Ideas

January 5, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC and Emergent Literacy: 5 Posts with Implementation Ideas

Looking to infuse additional activities to support the reading and writing development of the AAC learners with whom you work? Today, we’re revisiting some popular posts with helpful ideas and resources. Robust Literacy Instruction for People Who Use AAC A PrAACtical Literacy Activity for Beginning Communicators  Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learner Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies  Literacy for All: A Series of Videos by Dr. Caroline Musselwhite  Hope you find some useful tips and suggestions.

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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Shared Reading

October 31, 2016 by - 3 Comments

PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Shared Reading

We are pleased to have a return visit from special educators Lauren Pawlowski and Amy Devin with ideas for supporting AAC learners in the classroom. Amy and Lauren, who work in the public school system in Michigan, taught in resource rooms for years and have been teaching in self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms since 2009. At that time, there were few classrooms who were integrating  core language instruction, but they didn’t let that stop them. Currently, they use manual communication boards, large instructional core boards, and individual AAC devices with their students. They are passionate literacy teachers and, in today’s post, tell us about their approach to shared reading lessons. Their video is chock full of tips to help you make these lessons successful. Enjoy! Shared Reading: It’s Not What They Know, It’s What They THINK! Happy Fall AAC users and facilitators! This month we would like to share some of our tips for... [Read More...]

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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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3 Things to Consider in Implementing Core Vocabulary

August 10, 2015 by - 1 Comment

3 Things to Consider in Implementing Core Vocabulary

The power of core vocabulary is only realized when AAC is being utilized throughout the day. A key benefit of having core words on an AAC system is that they apply to any situation, in any location, with any communication partners. But unless we’re actually teaching and using the AAC under those conditions, we haven’t really tapped into the power that they offer. It would be like upgrading to a powerful ‘gamer’ laptop, then just using it to check email. Core vocabulary is a powerful concept, but it only becomes a powerful tool when it gets used throughout the day by anyone who speaks to the learner. It may take some time to get there, but it’s critical that we keep striving for this. Otherwise, we’re checking email on a super-charged computer. While powerful, core words can’t do everything. AAC learners also need words that reflect their own lives and... [Read More...]

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Beyond The Core: Guide to Teaching New Words for Students Who Use AAC

July 13, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

Beyond The Core: Guide to Teaching New Words for Students Who Use AAC

Teaching AAC learners to expand their vocabularies beyond a basic set of core words is an important goal to target in language development, and a topic that we’ve written a lot about in this space. For the student to be successful, SLPs need to think of vocabulary instruction as an ongoing process that has a clear 3-part structure.       Introduction: Word is used in context, defined, and produced by the learner. Students assess their own knowledge of the word.       Explicit Instruction: Activities are created to help the student really understand what the word means and how to use it. Students begin using it throughout the session.       Continued Practice: We continue to use these words and help the student use the target words in the session. Engaging activities, often with technology, are used to help our learners deepen their understanding of the word. This will be accomplished over multiple sessions. In this... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically July: Core Word Calendar by Rachael Langley

July 2, 2015 by - 3 Comments

PrAACtically July: Core Word Calendar by Rachael Langley

Hats off to Rachael Langley for taking time to develop and share another calendar with ideas for core word practice. As with previous calendars, she’s included lots of fun and easy ways to highlight and practice some of the July words from the first Year of Core Words list.

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Sound/Music Cause and Effect Apps for Engaging AAC Learners

May 11, 2015 by - 1 Comment

Sound/Music Cause and Effect Apps for Engaging AAC Learners

AAC clinicians are a creative bunch. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit some colleagues and was excited to see how they are repurposing free/low cost apps to build engagement and interaction in learners with significant communication challenges. Many of us work with learners who are highly motivated by mobile devices and apps that make music or sound, but still have a way to go to build their skills in using them. For some, we find that using apps that are relatively simple and easy (both motorically and cognitively), can spice up a session. Here are some sound/music cause and effect apps to explore. Of course, these apps are intended for a purpose completely different than how we are using them in therapy. Nonetheless, kids love them and that means that we SLPs can get a lot of mileage out of using apps like these in our therapy sessions. Burp... [Read More...]

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