January Year of Core Vocabulary & School Year of Core Vocabulary Words

December 27, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


January Year of Core Vocabulary & School Year of Core Vocabulary Words

Looking for resources to support core vocabulary instruction? The Year of Core Vocabulary Words and The School Year of Core Vocabulary Words, two series of monthly resources for core vocabulary teaching, remain popular with therapists, educators, and families. We’re reprising those posts for anyone interested in following along and utilizing the resources developed by quite a few people in the AAC community. The initial series was based on a small set of core words for each month (see that post here). We followed that with a second set of Year of Core Vocabulary Word resources for a new list of words (click here for that post). Among the many resources are the activity calendars created by AAC SLP and co-founder of Talking AAC, Rachael Langley. There were many other contributors over the years who added to these efforts. The School Year of Core Vocabulary Words, authored by guest contributors Michaela... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 52: December 2021

December 26, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 52: December 2021

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts you may have missed during the busy holiday week. Monday – AAC Devices & Apps Without an Evaluation: A Few Questions to Ask Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Text-based AAC Thursday – An AAC Christmas Tradition ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: If you have some extra time, stick around and check out these posts from the archives. Holiday Talk: AAC Conversations Using Partner-focused Questions Holiday Photos in AAC Learning: 3 Ideas for Using Them to Build Language Teaching Prelinguistic Communication to Beginning Communicators 5 Resources for Your AAC Toolkit Beginning Communicators: Learning Through Touch Cues

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An AAC Christmas Tradition

December 23, 2021 by - 2 Comments


An AAC Christmas Tradition

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town Not a creature was stirring, they were all safe and sound. The stockings were hung by their chimneys with care, In hopes that AAC Elves would soon visit there. The teachers were nestled all snug in their beds, With visions of lesson plans banished from their heads. The therapists with data sheets and the strategies they love best, Had just settled in for a good winter-break rest. When outside the schoolyard, there arose such a clatter I rushed toward the window to see what was the matter. Stepping on Legos (does that pain ever fade?) I ran to the window and lifted the shade. With her silvery face, the moon shone from the night sky, Illuminating the landscape from her perch way up high. And what to my sleep-deprived eyes should appear But an accessible sleigh, and 8 AT reindeer.... [Read More...]

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AAC Devices & Apps Without an Evaluation: A Few Questions to Ask

December 20, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Devices & Apps Without an Evaluation: A Few Questions to Ask

In a perfect world, everyone who needs AAC would participate in a comprehensive assessment to guide the selection of what SGD and/or AAC app will best meet their needs. That evaluation would include a records review, interviews with key stakeholders, observation, direct assessment, and a period of trial use with the communication aids that seem to be the best fit. It’s a complex and time-consuming endeavor, but the feature match process has been the gold standard for AAC device/app selection for several decades. At times, this process is skipped in favor of a quicker approach.  Bhodie’s school team already supports several other students with AAC needs and most of them use a popular AAC app on an iPad. Since they are already familiar with that tool and it seems to be working well for other students, they tried it with Bhodie, too. He was successful in using it to request... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 51: December 2021

December 19, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 51: December 2021

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts from our prAACtical week. Monday – PrAACtical Questions: “What Does a Robust AAC System Look Like?” Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: AAC & Board Games Thursday- Self-Advocacy & AAC: 5 Skills to Consider Targeting ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: If you can squeeze in a few more, take a look at some of these posts from the archives. PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: Hello, Holidays! How We Do It: Using AAC to Repair Communication Breakdowns Data Collection for the Beginning AAC User: Essential Things to Measure AAC & ASD: Beyond Scripting More Words, Please! Expanding Our Manual Communication Boards Activity Schedule AACtion Wishing all of you the magic of the season!

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Self-Advocacy & AAC: 5 Skills to Consider Targeting

December 16, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


Self-Advocacy & AAC: 5 Skills to Consider Targeting

Many AAC users need support from family, friends, and professionals in learning to advocate for themselves. Therapists and educators can support this process in many ways, starting with their ability to recognize all communicative acts and respond in respectful ways. At times, formal instruction and intervention are necessary to build specific skills that make it possible to advocate for one’s views and interests.  If you are supporting AAC users who are learning to advocate for themselves, here are some skills to consider targeting. Protesting and Rejecting: Objecting to events around us and refusing things that are offered are early-developing communicative functions that don’t seem to get enough attention. These are critical skills for all of us and AAC learners should be given the opportunity to develop a variety of strategies for this type of expression. Ranking: When AAC users can express their preferences by rank ordering different options, they can... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Questions: “What Does a Robust AAC System Look Like?

December 13, 2021 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtical Questions: “What Does a Robust AAC System Look Like?

“We use core boards in our classroom to ensure everyone has access to basic communication but our students need more language. I keep hearing that students with complex communication needs should have access to ‘robust’ systems but I’m not sure what that really means.” Many classrooms now use a universal system for core vocabulary so that all students have access to a basic set of words. This buys them some time to consider what the specific needs of their students are and plan a comprehensive assessment that will lead to individualized communication aids. As they approach that next step, the team is often looking to develop a more comprehensive AAC system that addresses the student’s current needs and abilities but also sets the stage for further growth and development of communication skills.  What makes an AAC system robust?   Multiple Components: An ‘AAC system’ is comprised of different elements that work... [Read More...]

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