SLPs Lori Sanzeri and Chelsea Collins, creators of Core City, are back to share ideas for implementing AAC in the classroom. Today, they share their experiences in using visual supports as a supplemental strategy for their students who are beginning to use AAC. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Using Visual Sidekicks to Support Language Intervention Have you ever tried to read a book to your students without providing any visual supports? Do you find yourself having difficulty thinking about what questions to ask? Do you ever feel like the story is too “wordy” or difficult for your students to understand? Have no fear, Visual Sidekicks are here! Visual Sidekicks provide a color-coded communication board of target core and fringe vocabulary along with sentences of 3-5 symbols that simplify the text throughout the story. Children with special needs often demonstrate difficulties during structured literacy activities in the following areas: attending to... [Read More...]
Tag Archive: implementation ideas
It is just about time to flip the calendar to a new page, and that means it’s time for a new set of core words to model, elicit, and practice. In this post, we have a number of resources for those who are ready to try their hand at implementation. Thanks to all who’ve reached out with questions, comments, and words of appreciation for the Year of Core Vocabulary series. Here are some helpful resources for those who are using the words in Set 1 ( Year of Core Words) or Set 2 (Another Year of Core Words). If you are contemplating this approach, feel free to jump in at any time. The best time to start (or re-start) is right now. Don’t worry about retracing steps, or not ‘doing it right.’ The best way to get better at core vocabulary instruction is just to keep at it. It takes... [Read More...]
Looking for ways to engage AAC learners in language therapy? Today, we welcome back SLP Rachel Madel to tell us about her experience in using wordless videos. Her prAACtical tips will get you excited about using videos like these, curated by The Activity Tailor, in your lessons. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Using Animated Shorts to Build Language Skills with AAC Learners We are living in a digital age, where video content is often free and easy to access. Children on my caseload are tech savvy and are constantly dazzling me with how well they can navigate YouTube to find their favorite videos. Motivation is paramount in creating meaningful communication interactions and watching animated videos is highly motivating for both students and clinicians. I’ve had great success utilizing wordless videos in my practice and was lucky enough to present on the topic during “AAC After Work” with a fellow AAC colleague, Susan Berkowitz. In case... [Read More...]
Across the world, therapists, teachers, and parents are getting ready for AAC lessons or therapy sessions. Robust AAC systems? Check! Goals that matter? Check! Effective intervention strategies? Check! Let’s put them all together with some engaging activities that won’t break the bank in terms of materials. Here are some suggestions for tried-and-true activities. Language Experience Surveys: Looking for a fun activity that gives your AAC learner an opportunity to prAACtical his/her skills with a variety of communication partners? Language experience surveys are a great tool for that not just because they are a great way to build generalization in a way that kids really love, but also because it helps the communication partners have supported conversations with AAC users. This helps them get comfortable in interacting with our AAC learners which, in turn, increases the chances that they will want to interact with these students in the future. This is... [Read More...]
Once AAC systems are in place, therapists, teachers, and parents often turn their focus on how to help learners use those to express themselves and to better understand their world. Today, we once again turn to Gail Van Tatenhove, an AAC master clinician, for teaching tips and ideas for resources and materials. This video is part of the Power AAC series from PaTTAN. Many thanks to Gail and PaTTAN for making this available. You can see other posts from the series here.
Filed under: Video of the Week
Today we learn from a veteran AAC SLP, Lindsey Paden Cargill, who has been working in the field of SLP for 12 years and is passionate about service provision and research in the area of AAC for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition to her caseload, she is also the Therapy Manager at a private therapy and education center in Columbus, Ohio called Bridgeway Academy. Lindsey is currently collaborating with The Ohio State University on several AAC-related research studies including an immersive AAC classroom and a parent-training course. AAC Intervention Strategies for Beginning Communicators: Presume Competence and Be the Fun In the last ten years providing energetic, creative and data-driven AAC language therapy has become my passion… or maybe obsession. My mission statement is for anyone interacting with a new AAC user to “presume competence and be the fun.” To accomplish my goals I have to prioritize several things: providing a... [Read More...]
“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...]
“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...]
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.
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...]