Throwback Thursday: AAC for Young Children

December 13, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Throwback Thursday: AAC for Young Children

In recent weeks, we’ve been getting lots of questions about using AAC with young children. There are lots of ways to approach this so today we are looking back at some of our earlier posts on AAC at the preschool level. If this is a topic of special interest to you, don’t miss the announcement about a giveaway at the end of the post. Using Vest Displays with Preschoolers on the Autism Spectrum with guest author Dr. Carol Goossens’ Mining the Preschool Routine for PrAACtical AAC Opportunities Supporting Preschoolers with AAC Needs: A Case Study Visual Supports in Action in the Preschool Classroom TELL ME: AAC in  the Preschool Classroom Attainment, the publisher of TELL ME (Teaching Early Language and Literacy through Multimodal Expression) is generously providing a free copy of the program through a contest they are running. TELL ME your AAC story for a chance to win a... [Read More...]

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AAC Goes to High School: Community-based Instruction

December 10, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Goes to High School: Community-based Instruction

We’re so glad to share the work of Sarah Mueller, a special education teacher in Rochester, Michigan, who returns to talk about AAC with older students. Sarah teaches high school and works with many students who have developmental disabilities. She strives to embed language and communication throughout her students’ entire school experience and help them become strong self-advocates as they prepare for adult life. In this post, Sarah talks about supporting AAC learners who are working with AAC systems rich in core vocabulary as they prepare for their weekly trips into the community. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Core in the Community Core vocabulary is often embedded in the typical instructional tasks of the school day: communication exchanges, calendar time, literacy, etc. Like most high school teachers for students with intellectual disabilities, community-based instruction (CBI) is a component of my classroom program.  My classroom becomes the community every single week! It is yet another setting where I... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 50: December 2018

December 9, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 50: December 2018

Happy Sunday, AAC friends! It’s a busy time of year for all of us but if you have time to catch up on some AAC reading, take a look at these posts from the week and scroll down to the bottom for news about upcoming AAC opportunities. Monday – Thoughts on Embracing Multilingualism and Diversity in AAC Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Implementing AAC in an Elementary Classroom Thursday – Let’s Read! Online Books for the Holiday Season ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: While you’re at it, here are some previous posts that may be of interest. PrAACtical Questions with Vicki Clarke: What’s the Role of Core Vocabulary? Communication Boards: Colorful Considerations Let Me Tell You Something- Narratives for the Beginning Communicator Holiday Shopping with a Purpose Hello Holidays! AAC Ideas for Your Celebration Before you leave, here are two upcoming opportunities for AAC connection. Wednesday, December 12 at 7:00 pm... [Read More...]

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Let’s Read! Online Books for the Holiday Season

December 6, 2018 by - 1 Comment


Let’s Read! Online Books for the Holiday Season

Want to give a long-lasting gift to the colleagues and families with whom you work? Here’s one prAACtical idea: Connect them with free resources that they can easily access and use. Our top pick for the holiday season is Tar Heel Reader. Here are some books that you can use in your AAC instruction then share with families so that they can enjoy them at home. The Snowman Cookie How to Make Potato Latkes How to Catch a Polar Bear (Fun but not suitable for all readers) I Love Christmas Holidays Throughout the Year The Gift of the Magi

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Thoughts on Embracing Multilingualism and Diversity in AAC

December 3, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


Thoughts on Embracing Multilingualism and Diversity in AAC

How can we best support learners with complex communication needs who come from a variety of cultural and linguistic backgrounds? Today, we turn the reins over to Arizona-based SLP Deanna Wagner who shares her thoughts on embracing and encouraging multilingualism and diversity in our AAC work. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: My latest article on cultural diversity has just been published in the ASHA Special Issue on Cultural and Linguistic Diversity and AAC, guest edited by Gloria Soto!  That means that ASHA members who have a Special Interest Group affiliation can access it and receive CEU credit for studying the content and answering a few questions.  Since not all readers are members of an ASHA SIG, I would like to take a moment to share my experiences in preparing the manuscript that I submitted for this article. Most importantly, as people who serve the needs of those who benefit from AAC, we all need... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 49: December 2018

December 2, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 49: December 2018

Happy December, AAC friends! If you are as busy as we think you are, you probably missed some of last week’s posts. Here’s a recap. Monday – PrAACtical Resources: Teachers’ Toolkit For Students With Little Or No Speech Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Transitioning Students Using AAC: Strategies to Promote Full Inclusion Thursday – PrAACtically December: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary     Still have time for a little more AAC? Here are some of our suggestions. 10 Apps to Gift an AAC SLP Helping Beginning Communicators Expand Their Sentence Length 5 Ways to Make Semantic Maps More Effective in AAC Therapy PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: The Family Book How I Do It: A Year of Core Words in Action Have a great week, everyone!

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PrAACtically December: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

November 29, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically December: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the month of December. A few years ago, we suggested that one way to help strengthen learners’ abilities with core words is to take a different set of 12-20 core words each month and focus on them for a few weeks. How? By modeling those words, making resource materials (like word cards with the symbols), creating activities in which those words figure prominently, posting them in the classroom/therapy room, reading books that have heavy use of these words, sharing them with families, write stories using them, etc. Core words are a great addition to the highly motivating, learner-specific words that many AAC users start with. If you are looking to expand to more robust language, this approach may be of interest. Here are the specific words we are focusing on in December. Set 1 (2013): ask, favorite, goodbye, hear, of,... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Teachers’ Toolkit For Students With Little Or No Speech

November 26, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtical Resources: Teachers’ Toolkit For Students With Little Or No Speech

Looking for resources that promote successful school experiences? Need tools that support inclusive educational practices? Developed by Communication Rights Australia, the Teachers’ Toolkit for Students with Little or No Speech is a website that school personnel can use to identify effective strategies and supports for students with complex communication needs. Their Teachers’ Checklist contains a series of questions that are linked to topics on a range of supports and strategies that can make a big difference in the lives of AAC learners. There are also helpful forms for teams to develop a Student Profile and Individual Learning Plan. You can begin to explore their AAC resources here.  

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 48: November 2018

November 25, 2018 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week # 48: November 2018

Hope you had a wonderful week, AAC friends. Here are some posts you may want to browse. Monday –  5 Kinds of Pre-stored Messages That Put the AAC Learner in Control Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Alphabet Books and AAC Implementation Thursday – Gratitude and Thanksgiving ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Looking for a few other AAC articles to read? We’ve got plenty for you to choose from. It’s PrAACtically Chanukkah! PrAACtical Guessing: 5 Apps for Interactive Inferencing Supporting Children in the Pediatric ICU 5+ Things to Do to Help AAC Learners Communicate About Illness or Injury “What’s Wrong?” AAC Messages for Negative Emotions and Feelings

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Gratitude and Thanksgiving

November 22, 2018 by - 6 Comments


Gratitude and Thanksgiving

grat·i·tude /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/ noun the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness In the spirit of our American tradition of Thanksgiving, we pause to reflect on our blessings and offer thanks. We’re grateful for: The people who use AAC and their families for all they do to help us get better at this business of supporting communication Service providers in homes, schools, clinics, hospitals, and community agencies The university programs that have a dedicated AAC class, especially if they have a permanent faculty member with expertise in this area Bonus thanks to those that also offer supervised clinical or student teaching experiences with AAC mentorship opportunities or an AAC lab with SGDs, AAC apps, switches, and mounts. The professional and service organizations that support AAC through professional development opportunities, grants, mentorship programs The power of e-communication platforms for the AAC support on listservs, blogs, groups, threaded... [Read More...]

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