Tag Archive: requesting

Beyond Requesting: A Week of Routines to Increase AAC Use at Mealtime

May 19, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Beyond Requesting: A Week of Routines to Increase AAC Use at Mealtime

“Waffle.” “I want ___.” “More.” “I’d like a diet coke, please.” “Help.” Most AAC interventionists are quite effective at helping clients use their communication systems during snack or mealtime in order to make requests. How can we move beyond that and help AAC learners communicate for a wider variety of purposes? Mealtimes are wonderful social opportunities and we can take advantage of that by building interaction opportunities around predictable routines. Why build a routine? The predictability helps learners understand what is expected of them. Understanding the expectation sets the stage for active participation. When something becomes a routine, it gets implemented regularly. That gives our learners lots of opportunities to practice their new skills. It also gives us the opportunity to get better at key instructional strategies, such as aided language input, creating explicit opportunities, and using language expansions. Need some suggestions for routines that can be created to foster... [Read More...]

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“But he doesn’t use it!” 5 Things to Try to Boost Requesting with AAC

October 13, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

“But he doesn’t use it!” 5 Things to Try to Boost Requesting with AAC

You did the assessment and got funding for the AAC device/app/aid. You regularly implement aided language input and your therapy is progressing nicely. You’ve spent time with teachers, paraprofessionals, family members, and others to educate them about AAC. You’ve worked with them to develop some initial goals around requesting wants/needs (even though that wasn’t your favorite place to start). You’ve identified some of his favorite things and even programmed language that allows him to request ‘something else’ if he doesn’t care for any of the choices. The foundation is set and things should be coming along. So what’s the problem? Well, it seems that the AAC learner hasn’t quite gotten the memo.  Sigh.  Rather than use the amazing AAC tool to ask for what he wants, Jonah continues to reach, grab, whine, and cry to get his needs met in most situations. Yes, progress is happening, but s-l-o-w-l-y. You have a... [Read More...]

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Choicemaking: 5 Things to Think About

November 14, 2014 by - 4 Comments

Choicemaking: 5 Things to Think About

We’ve all worked with beginning communicators who are just starting to get the hang of this interaction thing. For some, making requests and choicemaking, something we’ve written about before, is an early goal. Judit is a student like that. At 19 years old, she is just beginning to be able to attend to picture symbols and use them to express herself in a few situations. When we have kids like that, here are some of the things we think about. Autonomy is related to happiness. The more opportunities we have to give input into what happens during our day, the more content we tend to be. It’s not just for snack and mealtimes. If you are working on making choices and only providing options when Suzie is eating, you’re doing her a disservice. There are opportunities for choices everywhere. Even when it is snack/mealtime, the choices should not be limited... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: From PECS to iPad with Jason Butcher

April 17, 2014 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: From PECS to iPad with Jason Butcher

We are pleased to share a guest post by SLP Jason Butcher, who serves students at Grant County Middle School. Jason has been working with middle and high school students for the past 14 years.  He earned his Master’s in Communication Disorders from the University of Kentucky in 1999.  He admits that he came to do AAC more out of necessity than interest due to serving a huge variety and degree of speech/language impairments on his caseload.  He has always enjoyed working with technology and is patient when fixing problems, qualities that he thinks have served him well when hitting the inevitable roadblocks that come with working in the area of AAC. In this post, Jason shares some candid thoughts on the transition from PECS to an iPad for a student with whom he works. It was nearing the end of September when I began to fear that Ms. Ruff, a teacher... [Read More...]

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Making It Work: The PrAACtical Side of Therapy to Teach Requests

January 26, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Making It Work: The PrAACtical Side of Therapy to Teach Requests

This month we’ve been talking about requesting and choicemaking, specifically how to teach it. Today, we’ll put it into a clinical context by talking about a hypothetical session that targets this skill, but also highlights other strategies. As you read about the materials, preparation, and script, look for how they incorporate strategies such as building specific communication opportunities {CO}, aided language input {ALI}, and expansions {EX}. The clinician also builds in repetition with variety so that there is sufficient opportunities for teaching and practice using multiple modes of communication. In this scenario, you’ll meet Jenna, a 5 year old with significant language difficulties secondary to Cri du Chat syndrome. Jenna’s communication system includes about a dozen manual signs (SIGN), 20-25 word approximations (SPEECH), a few gestures (GEST), some manual communication boards (COMM BD), and an iPad with a full-featured AAC app (iPAD). She also uses movement (MOVEMT), vocalizations (VOC), and... [Read More...]

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There’s lots of Apps for That!

January 22, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Requesting & Choice Making: There's Lot's of Apps for That

As the saying goes, there is an app for ‘that’.  There are now a lot of apps, and a lot of apps for choice making and requesting.  Here are a few just a few of the many, many options: Preference Assessment App Preference & Reinforcer Assessment- Autism & Special Education Requesting & Choice Making Choice Board Creator My Choice Board Look 2 Learn  AAC Apps (fully customizable and can easily make folders of choice boards, but also do a lot more) Go Talk Now Free & Go Talk Now   PictureCanTalk So Much 2  Say- Picture Communication *All of the AAC apps can inherently be used for requesting and choice making. Check out  Jane Farrall’s AAC Apps  for a comprehensive list and our post listing 119 free and light versions of AAC apps and for more options check out the AAC Appy Store. Apps for Creating No Tech Communication and Choice Boards Custom Boards Picture Card... [Read More...]

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Communication Connections

January 19, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Communication Connections via Requesting and Choice Making

The January Strategy of the Month has focused on requesting and choice making. These are really fun goals to implement. They fall under the  communication function that helps us meet our own needs (Behavioral Regulation).  When we get what we want, there is  a sense of control over the environment & we increase symbolic communication/language, and self-sufficiency.  It’s all good. The assumption for all requests and choices is that the learner ‘likes’ what they have asked for.  This is what makes the process so much fun, we get to do activities and have interactions that are positive and motivating. If only it was that easy… Sometimes it is not… But do not worry…there are plenty of solutions for common (and not so common) problems when teaching requesting and choice making.  As always,  set the stage for a positive TEACHING paradigm and then move to problem solving if necessary (and when it is... [Read More...]

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Choices in Choicemaking

January 12, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Choices About Choicemaking

Choicemaking and requesting may be the most frequently targeted areas for beginning communicators who are starting out with their AAC systems. That makes sense for some learners because making choices is a very concrete focus for interaction and is loaded with motivational power. It seems pretty straightforward but, like anything else we do clinically, there are lots of decisions and choices to be made as we delve deeper into the process. How can we craft an AAC system that targets requesting for now, but also supports core language learning? For communicators who are at the earliest stages of making requests with AAC symbols, the strategy we discussed earlier this month or simple choice boards are a good starting point. But unless we quickly address where this is all going, the client will be strictly limited in their language learning. There are many ways to do this. Here is one approach.... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Teaching Basic Requests

January 5, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Strategy of the Month: Teaching Basic Requests

With the start of the new year, we thought it would be a good time to get back to basics. So this month, we’ll talk about the nitty gritty of teaching basic requesting to someone who is first learning to communicate using AAC. For learners who are not sending purposeful communication signals or those who seem unaware that communication involves interaction with another person, we think it makes sense to consider using the PECS curriculum. Why? Because the act of being assisted in physically giving a picture symbol to another person in exchange for a desired object can be an efficient way for someone to gain awareness of two critical principles. First, they learn that communication gives them the power to impact their environment. Secondly, the direct exchange highlights the fact that communication involves two people. As the PECS curriculum is already well established, its procedures will not be addressed... [Read More...]

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