Tag Archive: intervention

Building AAC Intervention Skills: Skillful Use of Time Delay

November 23, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

Building AAC Intervention Skills: Skillful Use of Time Delay

The effectiveness of AAC therapy is probably more related to the skill of the individual interventionist than it is to the therapist’s professional discipline. Whether our backgrounds are in SLP, special education, OT, or behaviorism, we all strive to further develop our skills in implementing AAC instruction. In today’s post, we invite you to join us on a journey of therapy skill-building. We start by learning more about two types of time delay, constant time delay and progressive time delay, both of which have are research-supported strategies for learners with ASD and other developmental disabilities. They are important tools for helping AAC learners generalize their communication skills across settings and minimize the possibility of prompt dependency. The team at Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules (AFIRM), a project of the National Professional Development Center on ASD at the Frank Graham Porter Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina... [Read More...]

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Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 1

September 22, 2015 by - 8 Comments

Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 1

Here’s a sobering thought. Relatively few users of AAC use grammatically correct sentences when they communicate. There are lots reasons for that, but in this post, we focus on understanding the things that contribute to that problem. In Part 2, we’ll look at ways to address the issue. Let’s reflect on the problem of why many AAC learners don’t communicate with complete, grammatically correct utterances. When communication is time-consuming and difficult, it makes sense to put your effort to saying things that convey a lot of meaning and skip the rest. If you are trying to get your point across with as little effort as possible, content-heavy words, like agents, actions, and places, pack a punch. As clinicians, we are often so driven to understand the main points of what the learner is trying to convey that we promote that strategy. Here are two snippets to illustrate. Clinician: Look at... [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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AACtual Therapy – Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag with Dr. Jill Senner and Matthew Baud

June 2, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AACtual Therapy – Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag with Dr. Jill Senner and Matthew Baud

Jill Senner and Matthew Baud are back to share some of their favorite therapy activities. In this post, they discuss how they build language while making ice cream. Summer is almost here and we’re already thinking about making our favorite frozen treat, ice cream in a bag.  No special equipment is required.  With a couple of plastic zipper bags and 5 ingredients already in your kitchen, kids can shake milk into ice cream in just 5 minutes.  Free picture recipes can be downloaded here.    As with many of the cooking activities we love, there are lots of natural opportunities for language use before, during and after cooking. Before cooking we read the recipe and check the kitchen to see if we have the ingredients.  If any are missing, we write shopping lists of ingredients we need.  We can take a community field trip to the grocery store where there... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Classroom Support for Students with AAC Needs by Tina Moreno

May 5, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: Classroom Support for Students with AAC Needs by Tina Moreno

We are fortunate to have a return visit from Tina Moreno, who brings her experiences both as an SLP and also as a mom of a teenager who has used AAC for most of his life. In this post, Tina shares some of the strategies that she has used to support AAC students in their classrooms. If you are a school-based SLP, don’t miss Tina’s classroom observation form for gathering data on how AAC is being used in various activities and lessons. GIVE THEM FIVE As an SLP in the school setting, helping teachers support students in the classroom can be a big challenge.  While we can see students making progress in our therapy sessions, it can be difficult to get the same results in the classroom.  An important role of the SLP is to collaborate with teachers to help students generalize these skills in conversation with their peers and other... [Read More...]

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5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy

April 27, 2015 by - 3 Comments

5 Ways to Use Word Clouds in AAC Therapy

Like many of you, I enjoy using fun websites in AAC therapy sessions. Word clouds are popular therapy tools, both because of their versatility and because they are fun and easy to make. Word clouds are images composed of words on a given topic, where the frequency of use of a word determines its size in the word cloud image. There are lots of websites and apps for this, and most are free. If you are looking for a way to build literacy into your language therapy activities, this may be an option worth exploring. Here are some ideas for prAACtical things to do. Build word knowledge: Use the word cloud to define new words, provide examples, and given synonyms. Once created, you can print these out for a word notebook or display on a vocabulary word wall. You can also keep a digital copy for a vocabulary notebook that... [Read More...]

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Let’s Create: Getting to the Core of Earth Day

April 20, 2015 by - 2 Comments

Let’s Create: Getting to the Core of Earth Day

Working with core words? Whether or not you are following along with our Year of Core Words or using some other approach, Earth Day is the perfect time to practice those reusable, recyclable words. Last week, we talked about using our April core words (2013 List: big, busy, do, drink, feel, he, in, make, out, some, tell, who) in literacy activities. Today, we’ll talk about using them in arts and crafts activities. Let’s create with core words! Choose your craft project. A quick Pinterest search yields lots of possibilities. Consider which words to focus on. Some of the April words (do, make, out, some) work well with any craft project. Review the project through the lens of your goal: Modeling and eliciting core words. Decide how you will implement it so that the focus is the core words, not the art itself. Make an activity schedule showing the steps for... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Thoughts on Mastery

April 7, 2015 by - 4 Comments

PrAACtical Thoughts on Mastery

In many clinical training programs, new SLPs are taught to teach skills to mastery level, which generally means something like “80% over 3 consecutive sessions.” For our clients who are developing communication skills using AAC, though, this isn’t always the best approach. Here’s why. It doesn’t always make sense. Having a single standard for mastery is useful as a clinical management tool, but often doesn’t make sense in individual situations. Consider the skill itself. Would you be comfortable with your clients being 80% accurate when they: Cross the street? (Of course not.They need to be 1,000% accurate with that.) Ask for things? (Probably. Although Johnny has many days where he’s pretty happy with everything and doesn’t really have clear preferences or desires that we can ascertain. It would be nice to respect that. Not to mention the fact that he might want something that we haven’t offered him.) Make a... [Read More...]

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Vocabulary Instruction: When Definitions Don’t Work

March 9, 2015 by - 3 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction: When Definitions Don’t Work

Vocabulary instruction and definitions generally go hand-in-hand. We’re used to creating learner-friendly definitions for the new words we teach, then using those definitions to introduce the word with focused language stimulation. In some situations, though, working with definitions is not the way to go. Here are some examples. Limited receptive skills: When we’re working with learners whose receptive vocabularies are very small, it can be impossible to define a new vocabulary term using only words that the learner already understands. Simone is a beginning communicator who is just starting to get the hang of symbolic communication. On a good day, she can pick out symbols for things that she wants to do (like play and eat) without any help at all, but following single step directions, identifying symbols, and matching them is more of a challenge. Giving her a definition for our new words, (open and big), isn’t likely to... [Read More...]

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Watch It Wednesday: AAC in Early Childhood

March 4, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC in Early Childhood

Want to learn more about using AAC with young children? That is the topic for today’s video, presented by Dr. Rae Sonnenmeier of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. She discusses key issues and reviews a 5-step process for helping the little ones develop communication through AAC. https://vimeo.com/91725812  

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