How We Do It: Coaching AAC Use in the Natural Environment

May 2, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: Coaching AAC Use in the Natural Environment

If it’s May, it must be Better Hearing and Speech Month (#BSHM), and we’re thrilled to kick off the festivities by two Illinois-based SLPs, Dr. Jill Senner and Matt Baud. They have a wealth of AAC experience and have generously shared their expertise here in several previous posts. Today, we welcome them back as they share some advice on helping staff use AAC in natural settings. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Put Me in, Coach: Coaching AAC Use in the Natural Environment “Help, I already trained the team and the device is still not being used outside of my sessions.” Sound familiar?  We hear this a lot.  This actually is quite common if one key training element is missing.  In fact, without this critical instructional component, there’s only about a 5% chance that the strategies you’re teaching will actually be used in the natural environment.  What is the essential ingredient to maximizing your... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically May: More AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

April 29, 2019 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtically May: More AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

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...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #17: April 2019

April 28, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #17: April 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends! It was good to see some of you at the fabulous AAC by the Bay Conference last week (if you missed it, look for this event again in 2021). Whether you were on-site at Cisco or at one of the many remote locations around the world, it was wonderful to learn together with you and the many insightful presenters. If you need to catch up on some AAC reading, here are a few suggestions for you. Monday – Word Count: Looking at AAC Language Samples Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Getting Started with AAC Thursday –  Throwback Thursday: AAC Assessment Corner ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: While you’re here, see if one of these past posts piques your interest. PrAACtically Reading: Over in the Garden with Karen Natoci Talking Mats: A PrAACtical Tool Using Metaphors to Support Vocabulary Teaching AACtual Therapy: “At first I... [Read More...]

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Throwback Thursday: AAC Assessment Corner

April 25, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


Throwback Thursday: AAC Assessment Corner

It’s another Throwback Thursday and today we’re turning our attention to assessment. Join us as we revisit “AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke.” Ready, SETT, AAC Evaluate! AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors Standardized Tests For AAC Users AAC Assessment for Emergent Communicators The Eyes Have It-Assessment Considerations for High Tech Eye Gaze Access Is AAC Feature Matching Still Relevant? Thinking Inside the Box for AAC Evaluations Procedural Resources Evaluating Skills for Use of Comprehensive AAC Dynamic Display SGDs Language Representation Elements – Noun Symbol Use for Functional Communication

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Word Count: Looking at AAC Language Samples

April 22, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


Word Count: Looking at AAC Language Samples

Have you worked with students like these? 19-year-old Jaclyn has used a number of SGDs over the years with a moderate degree of success. Her language is very predictable and the team is concerned that Jaclyn’s progress has stalled. Judging by his progress on IEP goals, 9-year-old Mason has made wonderful strides in learning to use his AAC app. Of the hundreds of words that are available to him, Mason has only ever used about 50 and uses far fewer than that in day-to-day life. Sloan is fairly proficient with her AAC device and can easily answer questions, relay information, and share her thoughts and ideas. Her language is much less sophisticated than her middle school peers, though. While they often integrate some of the academic vocabulary words that they learn in science, language arts, math, and other classes into their conversation and writing, Sloan tends to stick to the... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #16: April 2019

April 21, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #16: April 2019

Happy Easter and Passover, AAC friends. Enjoy your day and stop back to check out these posts from our prAACtical week. Monday – Autism Acceptance Resources for Children Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: How To Speak When You Don’t Have a Voice Thursday –  How Much Do We Understand When Context Cues Are Removed? :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Ready for some more reading? Here are a handful of suggestions. PrAACtical Passover and Easter Supports Let’s Read: Getting to the Core of Earth Day Let’s Create: Getting to the Core of Earth Day PrAACtically SLPs: Hungry for Bilingual AAC

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How Much Do We Understand When Context Cues Are Removed?

April 18, 2019 by - 1 Comment


How Much Do We Understand When Context Cues Are Removed?

Have you ever worked with clients who could benefit from AAC but resisted using it because they don’t realize that other people can’t understand their speech? Or a family who resists AAC because they perceive their loved one as intelligible when they are actually depending on the context to help them decipher the message? Have you ever worked with service providers who disagree on just how comprehensible their client’s natural speech really is? It doesn’t happen often, but there are occasions when it can be helpful to remove context cues from the mix and take a hard look at how well we understand someone’s natural speech. Formal testing may certainly play a role here, but informal assessment activities can also be helpful. Here is a task we sometimes use in these situations. The Materials Develop a list of 20 words and/or 20 sentences that will serve as the stimuli. For... [Read More...]

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Autism Acceptance Resources for Children

April 15, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


Autism Acceptance Resources for Children

Since we’re mid-way through Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month, it seemed like a good time to share some additional resources and ideas. Explore the Autism Kit for Kids by the Organization for Autism Research: What’s Up with Nick video, lesson plan, poster, and more. Attend a sensory-friendly event at a museum, movie theater, etc., or create your own using these suggestions from Sesame Street. Find a suitable book about autism and get reading! There are a number of book suggestions here. Check out the Choose Kindness: Autism Awareness Mini-Lessons by Autism NJ. Watch a TV show or video with positive messages about autism using suggestions from Reading Rockets. Have you been spreading the autism acceptance message this month? We’d love to hear about it.

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