Tag Archive: language intervention

AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 30 – July 2018

July 22, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 30 - July 2018

Hope you had a wonderful, AAC-filled week. Here are a handful of posts you may have missed. Monday – Beyond the Basics: Thoughts On Effective Language Instruction for AAC Learners Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Aided AAC and the IEP Thursday – Beyond the Big Core Board :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Still have room for more? Here’s a small selection for you to peruse. “Can I Ask You a Question?” Language Experience Surveys Language Experience Surveys: 8 Fun Ideas Strengthening the Communication Environment Barriers to Access for AAC Learners Living an Accessible Life

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Using Visual Sidekicks to Support Language Intervention

May 10, 2018 by - 3 Comments

Using Visual Sidekicks to Support Language Intervention

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...]

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Video of the Week: From Referential to Descriptive Teaching with AAC Learners

April 25, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: From Referential to Descriptive Teaching with AAC Learners

When working with AAC learners, how can we best model and elicit target communication behaviors? In today’s featured video, SLP Deborah Witkowski provides an overview of the ways that we can shift our approach from one that prioritizes activity-specific words, to one that emphasizes high-frequency words. If you are looking to  grow your skills in implementing AAC, this video will provide lots of helpful information. Many thanks to the Colorado Department of Education’s Southwest AT and AAC project (SWAAAC) for making this available. Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R70CfxnD4yY

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Expanding AAC Learners’ Single Word Utterances

March 5, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

Expanding AAC Learners’ Single Word Utterances

Know any learners like these? Jacob takes his teacher over to the snack cupboard and uses his SGD to say ‘cracker.’ Mara watches her friend throw a book and signs ‘angry.’ Elisheva finishes her drink and uses a communication book to say ‘more’ Some AAC learners linger at the single word level for far longer than they need to. One of the strategies that we use to help them move forward is to expand on their utterance and build on their word to model a 2-word sentence. ‘Cracker’ becomes ‘Want cracker.’ ‘Angry’ is built into ‘Shoshana’s angry.’ ‘More’ turns into ‘more milk.’ Sounds simple, right? Well, the concept certainly is, but it’s easy to get stuck or draw a blank when trying to do these sorts of expansions in therapy sessions, classroom activities, or daily routines. If you find your team forgetting to expand the learners’ single word utterances, some examples... [Read More...]

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Building Linguistic Competence in AAC Learners: 3 Areas to Consider Targeting

January 18, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts

Building Linguistic Competence in AAC Learners: 3 Areas to Consider Targeting

For several years, those who specialize in supporting AAC learners have stressed the need to develop AAC systems and programming that go beyond the communicative function of requesting in order to target the ability to protest, reject, comment, etc. This has been an important trend that will empower users of AAC to express themselves in much fuller ways. What other things should we be targeting in order to help our clients and students become more linguistically competent? Here are some ideas for goal areas to consider. Temporal Markers: While no one can overstate the importance of talking about our current needs, interests, observations, and preferences, we have to be careful not to get stuck in the moment. It is also important for our AAC learners to develop the language skills to be able to talk about things that already happened or that will/might be happening. Why? Among other things, this... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Building Linguistic Fluency with AAC Learners

March 16, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC learners often require a good deal of practice to become fluent enough with their language skills that they use them spontaneously across activities and environments. In this week’s featured video, we take a peek at Katya, who is learning to speak in longer sentences and to change singular nouns into plurals, and her SLP. The guided practice allows Katya to firm up her skills in these areas and develop the fluency she needs to be able to retrieve language during ordinary life experiences. Many thanks to Lindsey Cargill and Katya for posting this video.  

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Efficiency or Precision? Striking a Balance for AAC Learners

February 16, 2016 by - 3 Comments

Efficiency or Precision? Striking a Balance for AAC Learners

Elliott has been using some form of high tech AAC since he was in kindergarten and can express wants/needs easily. Though his language is simplistic compared to his 5th grade peers, he is able to use his SGD to give opinions, explain them, ask questions, engage in small talk, and tell short narratives. His SLP has targeted skills in inferencing, use of prefixes (‘un’ and ‘re’), verbal reasoning, Tier 2 vocabulary, and embedded clauses to help Elliott acquire the language skills that will allow him to be more successful in his academic work. She is keenly aware that, as he transitions to middle school, the academic and social demands on him will increase significantly. Although Elliott can spontaneously produce 9-12 word sentences, he usually communicates in short, simple utterances. In a recent interaction he used a single word, ‘good,’ to describe a video, and a short sentence (‘I was mad’)... [Read More...]

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Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 3

December 7, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 3

In some earlier posts, we looked at conversations with AAC learners who communicate with single words or short utterances, and began thinking about ways to stretch their language learning. In this post, we’ll continue to explore ways in which our intervention can facilitate language growth. Let’s start with an example of a typical conversation between an AAC learner and his/her therapist. Activity: Book reading [with aided language input] SLP: Look at all these animals! [Expectant pause]  Marcus: Bird.   SLP: Yes, lots of birds there. Those are seagulls. What else do you see? Marcus: Fish. SLP: It looks like a fish. That’s a dolphin. Dolphins are mammals. Remember from Ms. Louis’s class when you read Day of the Dolphins? Marcus: Swim SLP: Yes, they are really good swimmers. From the standpoint of shared meaning, this conversation has some good features. But even just reading the dialogue online, I bet you... [Read More...]

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From Activity-based AAC to Robust Language: Part 2

November 2, 2015 by - 4 Comments

From Activity-based AAC to Robust Language: Part 2

Last week, we talked a bit about activity-based communication displays (ABCDs), and the role they play for AAC learners. The analogy of feeding someone (with ABCDs) versus teaching them to fish for themselves (with robust AAC), resonated with many of you. In some cases, ABCDs can be a good way for therapists, educators, and families to take steps forward in their implementation of AAC. They allow students with little or no functional speech a way to participate in activities by making choices and comments, and that is a very good thing for those who don’t have a better option. There are a few drawbacks to ABCDs, though. Here are some of them. ABCDs limit language development. The learner can only experience the exact words and configurations that appear on a particular display. The learner has no way to expand his/her utterance by including other words or concepts. ABCDs are time-consuming... [Read More...]

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Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 2

October 8, 2015 by - 5 Comments

Supporting Language Growth in AAC Learners: Part 2

Last month, we began some musings about the sad reality that the percentage of people who use AAC to communicate in a grammatically correct fashion is woefully small. In that post, we explored some of the reasons for that and looked at conversations in which the communication partner does a lot of vertical scaffolding. While the term vertical scaffolding may be new to some of you, the concept is one with which you are quite familiar. Here’s an example: Learner: Olaf. Elsa. Clinician: Are you telling me about Frozen? Learner: Nods Clinician: What about Frozen? Learner: Book. Clinician: Oh, did you get a Frozen book for your birthday? Learner: Nods excitedly Clinician: Awesome! You should bring it next time so we can read it together.   Scenarios like this are very common in AAC, especially among communicators who use their AAC to say 1-2 words at a time. Because their... [Read More...]

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