Tag Archive: visual supports

5 Resources for Creating AAC and Visual Support Materials

March 21, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Resources for Creating AAC and Visual Support Materials

We are fortunate to be prAACticing at a time when there are so many options for creating visual supports and AAC materials. From sophisticated to simple From costly to free From PCS to SmartySymbols and more From one-time purchase to ongoing subscription From computer to mobile device There is a way for prAACtically anyone to make AAC materials, picture schedules, and other visual supports. Here are some of the products we use. Boardmaker Custom Boards SymPrint LessonPix ConnectAbility Visuals Engine

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5 Reasons We Don’t Usually Use ‘Speech Rules’

September 23, 2013 by - 7 Comments

5 Reasons we don't typically use speech rules

We love organized productive speech therapy sessions. But, we don’t typically use speech rules in our sessions. It’s not that we are inherently against ‘behavior speech rules’ but overall, we don’t use them.  Here are some of the  reasons why: We use meaningful language activities.  We try to use meaningful, fun, and engaging activities so learners want to participate. Even when we think an activity is enjoyable and it is not, it becomes enjoyable and meaningful to “stop” the activity.  It is helpful to think about meaningful and fun from the learner’s perspective and not just ours. For example, having a pleasant conversation about awesome pretty pictures would be enjoyable for  many students. However, if conversation is difficult, maybe not so much.  It’s not that we would not work on conversation, but the activity structure may involve clear beginnings and endings to the conversation, a  ‘take home poster’, and/or a... [Read More...]

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5 AAC Strategies & The “Use It or Lose It” Philosophy

September 12, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 AAC Strategies & the Use it or Lose it philosophy

School has begun for almost everyone. Some classes have been in session for a while and routines have been formed, learning is taking place, behaviors have settled down. Now comes what can seem like the hard part: Keeping up with and expanding the strategies that helped students become successful.  Instead of trying to fade AAC displays/devices and visual supports, stick with the basics and expand how they can be used.  Because if you don’t use it, you may lose it. So: Keep up with: Visual Schedules– monthly, daily, and mini. Even if students know the schedule, continue to use it. Most of us would not like ‘losing’ our day planner or ‘to do’ lists even though we know our schedules. Aided Language Input First- Then Visual Support Visual Boundaries Access to a AAC Display/Device– And the display or device is with the student All the time, everywhere, charged, working, and... [Read More...]

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Worth Repeating: Beyond Good and Nothing Inquiring Minds Want to Know

August 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Worth Repeating: Beyond Good and Nothing Inquiring Minds Want to Know

by Carole Zangari, originally published on August 27, 2012 “How was school?” (Good) “What did you do?” (Nothing) This scenario plays out in many cars and kitchens in the after school hours and it can be hard to know who is more frustrated: the kids for being asked or the parents for not getting satisfactory answers. And still, we repeat the process day after day. Of course, we want to know the fine details of what happened and how our children felt, but in some cases, we’d settle for ANY school-related conversation at all. I’ll be the first to admit that it took me way too long to get the hang of how to get information about my children’s school days, and it seemed like just when I did, pow! They were pre-teens and then teenagers. New rule book. Here are some ‘lessons learned’ along the way about those afterschool conversations and... [Read More...]

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6 Reasons to Thank App Developers

August 23, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

6 Reasons to Thank An App Developer

As you know, we love combining apps in intervention as one tool for engaging learners in meaningful language activities.  Apps can also be used within home prAACtice  and ‘waiting time’ recommendations. Some of the apps we use and recommend are made for general  as well as  special education while others are just everyday apps developed  to make life easier.  When we use the apps for communication and language there are some features that help many of our students.  Additionally, there are updates and other things that really help educators.  This is just a beginning list of app features we love (feel free to write with more). THANKYOU APP DEVELOPERS FOR: Listening to feedback- we have emailed many app developers with ‘feedback’ and have always received responses and often that feedback is incorporated into updates to the app. Building  in choice making opportunities- We love apps that require active participation on the part... [Read More...]

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One Can Never Have Too Many Visuals

August 13, 2013 by - 2 Comments

One Can Never Have Too Many Visuals with Robin McCallister & Jane Rairden

Today, we are so excited to have our new friends from the awesome blog lunchbuddiesplus sharing how and why they incorporate visual supports into their sessions.  In their lunchbuddiesplus group sessions, the focus is on social skills and they find that visual supports make a huge positive impact.  So as you get ready for back to school, think about the visual supports that will help make your goals and activities go smoothly. Robin McCallister is a Speech/Language Pathologist working at Mary Munford Elementary School in the Richmond City School district in Richmond, Va.  She has 36 years of experience in the public schools.  Currently, she spends most of the school day working withchildrenwho experience autism.  She especially enjoys  the social skills groups known at Mary Munford as “lunch buddies”.  Visuals are a big part of social skills coaching and Robin knows that one can never have too many visuals!  You are invited... [Read More...]

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AAC ‘Must Haves’ for the Classroom and Speech Room

August 10, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AAC 'Must Haves' for the Classroom & Speech Room

As we were getting ready for back to school and thinking about ‘must haves’, it quickly became apparent that it is not so easy to narrow it down. And the ‘must haves’ would definitely vary depending upon type of class, students, and even school.  Based on a wide variety of differences, we organized a wide variety of choices to explore (we apologize in advance if we got carried away but…). Choose what you need, bookmark what  you may need later and let us know your  ‘must haves’ for a classroom and speech room AAC collaborative approach.  We will create an ongoing list. Get Started Before School Starts         Do these 10 Things to Get Started with AAC  if you are new to an AAC student or classroom Provide AAC Support in the Classroom. Support teachers and educators with tips from Jane Farrall, & learn about AAC in the Classroom by Joan... [Read More...]

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