PrAACtically March: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Words

February 25, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically March: AAC Resources for a Year of Core Words

Do the AAC users in your life use only a fraction of the core words in their SGD, AAC app, or communication board? One way to help them move forward is to make a concerted effort to use, highlight, and provide additional teaching on a variety of words. It’s hard to do this without getting overwhelmed, so find a strategy that works for you.  A few years ago, we decided to approach this by focusing on 12-16 core words each month. (If this is too much for the teams with whom you work, that’s not a problem. Just cut it back to 4-6 words/month.) Each month, we can highlight those words in our conversation (aided language input), direct intervention, and home programming activities with AAC learners. The repeated experiences with those 12-16 (or 4-6) words helps our AAC learners develop new skills, and keeps the team focused on the same destination.  It’s... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #8: February 2019

February 24, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #8: February 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts you may have missed in your busy week. Monday – 5 AAC Handouts from Conferences Near and Far Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Growing Language with AAC Modeling Thursday – How I Do It: Literacy, Language, and AAC with Jeanna Antrim :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: If you have the time, here are some past posts you may enjoy. AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors Selecting AAC Apps & Devices: A Handful of Reasons Not to Skip the Trial Period Observational Assessment of Beginning Communicators Bilingual AAC Assessment Tips by Lindsay Oesch Say What?!? AAC Assessment for Children Who Speak with Dr. Jill Senner and Matthew Baud

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How I Do It: Literacy, Language, and AAC with Jeanna Antrim

February 21, 2019 by - 1 Comment


How I Do It: Language, Literacy, & AAC with Jeanna Antrim

We have deep respect for clinicians and educators who are willing to share their approach to developing strong AAC instructional sessions. Today, we are excited to welcome SLP Jeanna Antrim to these pages. Jeanna has been an SLP for the past 7 years practicing at special education cooperatives in southern Illinois. She works both with students in a self-contained behavior school and as an AAC facilitator conducting AAC evaluations, providing direct therapy, and consulting with school teams. In this post, she shares her approach to developing AAC sessions using shared reading. (Don’t miss her book packet and handouts.) ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: How I Do It: Literacy, Language, and AAC After graduating, it took me a few years of trial and error before I figured out (and don’t get me wrong I’m still figuring out) my niche. I absolutely love books and love how I can target any language and communication concept within a... [Read More...]

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5 AAC Handouts from Conferences Near and Far

February 18, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


5 AAC Handouts from Conferences Near and Far

There have been lots of wonderful AAC sessions at conferences in the past 12 months. Here are a handful of handouts from some of them. Effects of Embedding Core Vocabulary in Emergent Literacy Instructional Routines – Penny Hatch, Lori Geist & Karen Erickson, ISAAC 2018 The Cognitive Demands Checklist Thinking about Thinking for AAC – Melanie Fried-Oken, Aimee Mooney, & Michelle Kinsella The AAC Learning Center(s): Online Supports for Pre-service Instruction – Chris Klein & David McNaughton, ATIA 2019    Talking Early Mobility: Get Moving with AAC – Tami Altschuler, Daniella Klein, Amanda Tesoriero, & Ashley Carr Scully, ASHA 2018  Developing Communication and Access Skills for Children Who Face Severe Physical and Multiple Challenges – Linda Burkhart ATIA 2019  Did you attend an AAC session that was especially helpful? We’d love to hear about it. NOTE: Depending on the presenter and venue, these handouts may be available only for a limited... [Read More...]

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A Different Kind of Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


A Different Kind of Valentine's Day

Here in our community, Valentine’s Day will never be the same. While we grieve and remember those whose lives were affected by gun violence, we renew our efforts to prevent future tragedies. After the flowers, cards, candy, and Valentine’s Day parties are over, please take some time to seriously consider ways to better prepare our clients with AAC needs for adverse events. Today, we’re reprinting a post with helpful resources. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Recent events, such as the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, have led us all to re-examine policies and procedures that impact school safety.  Throughout the country, school communities are re-evaluating and fine-tuning their processes for keeping students and staff safe in the unlikely event of violent acts, such as bomb threats and active shooters. It seems surreal that we have to think about and plan for this, but that is our reality. We look at school safety drills... [Read More...]

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“My Students Don’t Have Much AAC Support at Home”

February 11, 2019 by - 3 Comments


“My Students Don’t Have Much AAC Support at Home”

At a conference last month, I had some wonderful interactions with teachers and SLPs who are incredibly dedicated to helping their students with AAC needs become more proficient communicators. A number of common threads emerged through comments like these. “It’s really frustrating! My student would make SO much more progress if there was carryover at home.” “I keep telling my student’s parents this but they don’t really follow through.” “I’ve told them about the research and shared a lot of web links with them, but nothing seems to change. My student’s family still doesn’t really use his AAC at home.” “The family tells me that they are modeling AAC, but when I look at the ‘history’ it shows that not much AAC is happening outside of school hours.” In person and through social media, professionals have shared their stories and expressed that they are sometimes surprised and puzzled but mostly disappointed... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #6: February 2019

February 10, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #6: February 2019

Happy Sunday, AAC friends! Here are some posts that may be of interest. Monday –  Fun Finds at ATIA 2019 Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Getting Acquainted with Tar Heel Reader Thursday – PrAACtically Valentine’s Day: Resources for AAC Learners Have a few more minutes for AAC browsing? Check out these posts from our AAC archives. 5 Ways to Use Books to Build Interaction with AAC Learners Alphabet Books and AAC Implementation Using Adapted Books with AAC Learners: 3 Important Questions to Ask (Click here or on the image for a printable copy.)

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PrAACtically Valentine’s Day: Resources for AAC Learners

February 7, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically Valentine's Day: Resources for AAC Learners

As our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day, we polished up one of Robin’s old posts with lots of resources to explore. Enjoy! ——————————————————————————————————————— Valentine’s Day is a theme that seems to take center stage in February.  When we use this theme, we like to focus on it before, during, and after February 14th because then there are a lot of opportunities to talk about it before, during, and after the holiday.  This is like a conversation which involves so much more than talking about the ‘here & now’. Core Vocabulary Activities: Check out these fun ideas from teachers and clinicians. Use Candy Heart Generators and Word Clouds Create your own digital candy hearts with your own text with CryptoGram. Word clouds are a fun way to integrate a theme. You can read more about how to use them in AAC lessons here and here. You can also insert your own Valentine’s Day... [Read More...]

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Fun Finds at ATIA 2019

February 4, 2019 by - Leave your thoughts


Fun Finds at ATIA 2019

As expected, the ATIA Conference in Orlando last week had a robust selection of AAC learning opportunities. Here are two of the fun finds we thought you’d like to explore. The AAC Strand Spotlight Session This panel asked four thought leaders in AAC to each identify two intervention challenges and discuss their ideas for addressing them. The speakers were from a variety of practice settings and addressed a range of implementation issues. Christopher Bugaj, AAC and AT Specialist at Loudoun County Public Schools Transitions & Turnovers:  Killers of Language Learning Progression Keeping Up With The Training Demand Vicki Clarke, SLP/CEO, Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. Addressing Opportunity Barriers to Participation Facilitator Attitude, Knowledge, & Skill Barriers Caroline Musselwhite, Literacy & AAC Specialist Facilitating Generalization Age-Respectful and Engaging Materials/Activities for Adolescents & Teens Gail VanTatenhove, SLP/CEO, AACell, Inc. Providing Person-Specific  AAC Design in an App/MAP Happy World The Aging of AAC Users... [Read More...]

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