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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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #15: April 2019

April 14, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #15: April 2019

Good morning, AAC friends. Here are the posts we published this week. Monday –  AACtivity of the Month: Concept Sorts Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Strategies for Supporting AAC Team Buy-In & Implementation Thursday – How I do it: Using Videos & Instructional Feedback to Support Communication Partners ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Have time for a little more browsing? Check out these past posts. When Helping Isn’t Helping-Prompt Awareness in AAC Instruction Administratively Speaking: 5 Considerations for Recruiting and Retaining AAC SLPs AAC In the Classroom: Considerations for Modeling Core Vocabulary How I Do It: A Year of Core Word in Action AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills

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How I do it: Using Videos & Instructional Feedback to Support Communication Partners

April 11, 2019 by - 1 Comment


How I do it: Using Videos & Instructional Feedback to Support Communication Partners

As AAC interventionists well know, we can improve learning outcomes by getting key communication partners to use specific strategies to support AAC learning. How can we do that effectively and efficiently? Today, we hear from Laura Hayes, an AAC Facilitator for Special School District of St. Louis County, Missouri. Using her 10+ years of AAC experience, Laura provides support to staff and students across 4 school districts. She has presented locally and at state, national, and international conferences, and has been involved in both inpatient pediatric and educational AAC research.  Laura loves providing staff training, implementation resources and guided direction to help students using AAC succeed. In today’s guest post, she shares her experiences and tips for supporting communication partners. (Don’t forget to download the resources she is sharing before you go.) ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: How I do it: Using Videos and Instructional Feedback to Support Communication Partners Prior to the Training... [Read More...]

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AACtivity of the Month: Concept Sorts

April 8, 2019 by - 2 Comments


AACtivity of the Month: Concept Sorts

Concept Sorts (learn more here) are often used in vocabulary intervention and academic instruction. Chances are, you’re probably using them already with some of your learners. These easy-to-implement activities can be helpful in teaching AAC as well. There are lots of right ways to do a concept sort. Here is one of them. Select a target word. Print out 2 copies of the AAC symbol for it, and the symbol for No/Not as it appears in the learner’s AAC system. Use these to create a simple 2-column sorting system (e.g., 2 shallow boxes, one with the target word symbol and the other with No/Not + target symbols). Gather a collection of objects or pictures that depict or are related to the target word. Gather a collection of objects or pictures that depict the opposite of the target word or show something completely unrelated. Put the objects or pictures to be... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #14: March 2019

April 7, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #14: March 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Monday – 30 Ideas for Celebrating Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Compliance Is Not the Goal Thursday – How I Do It: Understanding Systems Change :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: If you have time, stick around for a bit more AAC reading. Building Engagement in Young Children with Autism Autism and AAC: 5 Pinterest Boards to Follow AACtual Therapy: Making Core Words Fun for Students with Autism How I Do It: Using PODD books and Aided Language Displays with Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder Evidence-based AAC Strategies for Students with Autism with Betsy Caporale

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How I Do It: Understanding Systems Change

April 4, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


How I Do It: Understanding Systems Change

Have you ever dreamed of taking a detour in your AAC work to address the needs from a totally different direction? Special educator Sarah Mueller did just that. Follow along as she tells us about her journey from teacher to student. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: “Autism isn’t something a person has or a ‘shell’ that a person is trapped inside. There’s no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion, and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person – and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with. This is important, so take a moment to consider it: Autism is a way of being. It is not possible to separate the person from the autism.” – Jim Sinclair... [Read More...]

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30 Ideas for Celebrating Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month

April 1, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


30 Ideas for Celebrating Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month

What does Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month mean to you? From where I sit, it is a personal challenge to learn more about the lived experiences of autistic people and discover the most impactful ways to support communication learning and quality of life.  Our understanding of what autism is and how we can help autistic people have a rich, fulfilling, self-directed lives is evolving. Even if you’ve worked with autistic people for a long time, chances are that there are still many more things to learn. Here are some ideas for things to do in honor of people with autism.   Take advantage of the deep discounts offered by many AAC app developers and share this information with those who might benefit from it. AAC Specialist and SLP Lauren Enders does a wonderful service to the AAC community by tracking the app discounts in the US app store and sharing that... [Read More...]

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