PrAACtical Suggestions: 10 Ways To Help Families Make Informed Decisions About AAC

May 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Suggestions: 10 Ways To Help Families Make Informed Decisions About AAC

– In one of my AAC classes, we’ve been talking about how to help families make informed decisions. To do that, they need to have solid information presented clearly, in digestible bites from a trusted source. When we don’t have that information, it is easy to fall prey to fads and/or adopt a herd mentality and do what everyone else is doing. Here are some suggestions for supporting families through the AAC decisions they will need to make. – 1. Have direct conversations about the pros and cons of the available options. For example, if the family expressed interest in an iPad with AAC apps over a full fledged SGD, then we’d have to be prepared to reiterate the merits and drawbacks of each. 2. Share a process for making AAC decisions rather than attempting to take the decision out of their hands. For example, you may want to encourage... [Read More...]

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Twitter Goes to School

May 16, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


Twitter Goes to School

Since Robin has been doing such an awesome job of talking about Twitter and sharing AAC-friendly Twitter resources, I thought today we’d shift gears slightly and talk about applications for the classroom. – 1.If you’re new to Twitter, you may want to start with this helpful post on GeekSLP. 2. Great ideas for using Twitter in the K-12 classroom, many of which can be adapted for SLPs. 3. More ideas on how to use Twitter for teaching and learning 4. Beyond K-12 Twitter is just as useful. Here are some great resources for using it in Higher Education from Edudemic and  Web 2.0 Teaching Tools 5. Twitter Professors: 18 People to Follow for a Real Time Education http://on.mash.to/IS5rej –

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Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

May 15, 2012 by - 2 Comments


Updated: 59 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

The content of this post has been updated. Click HERE for the most current version that includes Android apps and a link to our AAC app rubric. —– Thanks to all who’ve given us great feedback and suggestions on our list of free and lite AAC apps. If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we have mixed feelings about the AAC app revolution. More specifically, we’ve had concerns about the decision-making process around app selection, and have advocated for that to occur within the context of a feature match process that gives appropriate attention to the full range of AAC options. In our digital curation sites, we link to tools we use for this process, such as the feature match forms developed by Jessica Gosnell at Boston Children’s and the ones created by Scott Marfilius and Kelly Fonner. In our own teaching and clinical work, when AAC apps... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Suggestions: How to Get Started with A New AAC Client

May 15, 2012 by - 2 Comments


PrAACtical Suggestions: How to Get Started with A New AAC Client

– This is the first week of a new semester for us, and that means we get the pleasure of introducing a new crop of student SLPs to clients with AAC needs. We’ve been busy looking at lesson plans, discussing goals and objectives, listening to ideas for therapy activities, and helping to develop plans for data collection. With those recent conversations buzzing in our ears, here are some thoughts about getting AAC therapy sessions off to a good start. – 1. Connect with the client and family before the first session. Take some time to plan out questions that will help you get to know their expectations, family culture, and daily routine. 2. Know the history. Go beyond the diagnosis and device. Take time to research what’s been done before, how that worked out, and, if you can, how that was perceived. Knowing where the client has been on his/her... [Read More...]

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International Cri du Chat Awareness Week

May 14, 2012 by - 2 Comments


International Cri du Chat Awareness Week

– Today’s post is in honor of the first ever International Cri du Chat Awareness Week and the lovely young lady pictured here (as well as in the brochure linked below). – Cri Du Chat Syndrome (CdCS, also called Lejeune’s syndrome and 5p deletion) is a low incidence genetic disorder caused by a deletion on the short arm of chromosome 5 (5p-). Most children with CCS experience general developmental and communication delays, some of which are quite significant. They tend to have strengths in receptive language. Their speech is often marked by frequent articulation errors, small phonetic inventories, and restricted syllable shapes. Many infants and children with CdCS also have feeding and swallowing difficulties. Children with CdCS have a higher co-occurrence of cleft lip/palate. – 1. 5p- Society (US) and the Annual Conference: Positive Attitude, Reaching New Heights (July, 26-29 in Denver, CO). This group also has a network of... [Read More...]

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Saying "I Love You" On Mother's Day!

May 13, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


Saying "I Love You" on Mother's Day

Saying “I Love You” is very important to most moms (and dads), especially on Mother’s Day (& Father’s Day).  I never need to receive a mother’s day present from my son….. he is my present….. he was born on Mother’s Day (18 years ago).  I feel like he is my never-ending perfect gift.  He says “I love you” often, even at 18.  So mixing this sentiment with my work, it saddens me to hear people say, my daughter does not “talk”, I only wish she could say “I love You“.   I have learned  that with AAC strategies, ALL children can  say “I love you”.  Here are some ways to help children (adults)  ‘say’ it more often, in a conventional way, and so everyone can hear it. Record “I Love You” on a one hit message device/card/picture (Record with #1- your child’s voice, #2 same aged matched peer, or #3... [Read More...]

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5 Sites for Tools & Tips on Self-Calming & Behavior Regulation

May 12, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


5 Sites for Tools & Tips on Self-Calming & Behavior Regulation

Spring is in the air and that means the thoughts of many school-based clinicians and teachers turn to…survival!  If our recent conversations with colleagues and families are any indication of what’s going on in the rest of the AAC world, it’s been a long year. – Sometimes that means that kids get antsy, professionals feel a little worn out and stressed, and families begin to worry about the long expanse of unstructured time from June to September. Here are some of the resources we’ve been looking at and sharing lately. — Solid information on positive behavior support from Florida State University’s program, Positive Beginnings A host of wonderful visual supports for behavior from SET-BC Ideas for visual supports for behavior regulation from Lisa Geary, SLP, of LiveSpeakLove Love this DIY calming jar and these prAACtical ideas from the forum at A-Z Teacher Stuff Helpful downloads for visual supports from Geneva Centre... [Read More...]

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Check your Twitter Stage

May 12, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


Check Your Twitter Stage

About Twitter: When Carole and I began our blogging adventure, we were very new to any kind of social media (unbelievably only a year ago).  Somehow, I got Twitter to explore and she got Facebook (maybe because I didn’t have an account on either and she at least had Facebook).  I quickly felt like I was the lucky one in that division of labor.   I realized that I was learning more on Twitter than at any conference or workshop I had attended in the past several (many) years. And I was learning on a ‘tweet to tweet’ basis.  So, I would tell Carole about new things and tell her she really had to try Twitter too.  And she would smile and say “ok, soon”….  To fully appreciate this, you have to really know ‘Carole’.  Carole is one of the most knowledgeable people I know, but she is also very... [Read More...]

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BHSM Resources: AAC RERC on Facebook

May 11, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


BHSM Resources: AAC RERC on Facebook

AAC-RERC is a Facebook group that is not as active as some of the others we’ve shared, but the quality of the content more than makes up for the low volume. If you are looking for updates on research-based presentations and projects relating to AAC, you may want to visit them the next time you are spending some quality time on Facebook.

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BHSM Resource: SLPeeps

May 10, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


BHSM Resource: SLPeeps

In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, we’re continuing to focus on resources that help SLPs connect, grow, and support one another. This week’s posts have centered on Facebook and today we’re giving a shout out to SLPeeps. There’s nothing like getting a bunch of SLPs together and letting them have at it. New materials, strong opinions, ideas for therapy, success stories, funny anecdotes and more. Connect with about 1000 of your closest professional friends at this dynamic Facebook group.

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