169 Search Results for rett

PrAACtical Alert: Free AAC App

April 23, 2012 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Alert: Free AAC App

If you follow us on Facebook you know that we got some disturbing news this weekend about an AAC app developer who launched an app based on someone else’s work without giving credit. Boo, hiss. Long story that we won’t get into here, but it was disheartening, to say the least. While we are pretty upset to see this happen, we are thrilled to let that karma play out and turn our attention to something wonderful. – That ‘something wonderful’ is the Give Speech Foundation, a New York nonprofit that is developing a new AAC app for the iPad that they plan to price below their actual costs. For now, FreeSpeech is available without charge and, apparently, will remain so while it is in beta. The development team has big plans to improve the app in the next few months, and then charge a nominal fee. Your feedback will be very valuable... [Read More...]

Strategy of the Month: Meaningful Communication Opportunities

April 7, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Strategy of the Month: Meaningful Communication Opportunities

April is springtime where we live and spring is a time of beginnings. It’s fitting, then, that our AAC strategy of the month speaks to the very beginning of AAC intervention. Learning how to create focused opportunities to teach or practice an AAC skill is a pivotal skill for SLPs. The concept is a simple one: create an environment in which the learner WANTS or NEEDS to display the target skill. – Communication opportunities are related to the concept of communicative temptations. As SLP blogger Becca Jarzynski  of Child Talk puts it “Communication temptations are pretty much just what they sound like: we set up the environment to tempt children to communicate with us.” Stop by and read her excellent post here . While Becca focuses on their use with young children, the approach can be used with people of any age. – Tempting people to communicate is all about... [Read More...]

Video of the Week: Aided Language Input Demo

February 26, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: Aided Language Input Demo

This week’s video features Gail Van Tatenhove doing part of a lesson on disaster preparedness, something we take pretty seriously in Florida during hurricane season. In this short clip, Gail is modeling on a large AAC language board/poster. She is working with a small group of adults who use SGDs and they are using core words to talk about the concept of ‘an emergency.’ 

Advocate in Your Pocket: Free App to Support Inclusive Education

February 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Advocate in Your Pocket: Free App to Support Inclusive Education

The thought of an IEP meeting fills many parents we know with dread and anxiety, particularly if they are in a district where inclusive education is not running very smoothly. Jillian, a very passionate and competent mom of a youngster who uses high tech AAC, was pretty blunt about it. “I’d rather have root canal,” she said, and the parents within earshot gave her a round of applause. — So when we came across an app that provides support to families in this process, we had to check it. Developed at the Syracuse University School of Education, iAdvocate is an app designed to share information that parents can use to support their request for inclusive education. It lists some of the common roadblocks that families sometimes encounter, such as: “Your child needs small group instruction with few distractions and that can only be provided in a separate classroom.” “Meeting your chid’s needs is... [Read More...]

Feeling the Love

February 12, 2012 by - 4 Comments

Feeling the Love

Some people thrive on conflict. Not us. We’re happiest when things are running smoothly and everyone is getting along. Nonetheless, we’re secretly thrilled by the conflict that has erupted between apps and traditional SGDs.  — Here’s what we love about this conflict. 1. We LOVE that the technology that launched this controversy has raised the public’s awareness of AAC as an option. AAC in the local papers and New York Times. AAC on 60 minutes and segments of the nightly news. No matter how you feel about apps versus traditional SGDs, you gotta love the fact that more people now know that there are tools out there for people with little or no functional speech. – 2. We LOVE that AAC technology has progressed to a point where there is something to argue about. When I started my AAC career, the Express 3 (PRC),  Zygo 100 (Zygo), and the HandiVoice... [Read More...]

Why We Love Aided Language Input

February 11, 2012 by - 3 Comments

Why We Love Aided Language Input

The concept of Aided Language Input is simple: Speak AAC to the learner. If you were teaching her French, you’d speak to her in French. No one would dispute that hearing the new language is an essential prerequisite to learning it. It’s the same in AAC. If we want our folks to learn to express themselves with AAC, they have to have a lot of expose to people speaking AAC. – Here are the top reasons we are such strong advocates of this as an intervention strategy. – 1. It has a strong research base, thanks to studies by Kathryn Drager, Cathy Binger and Janice Light, Jennifer Kent-Walsh, Shakila Dada, and others. – 2. It is the fastest way for a clinician, teacher, or parents to get familiar with the language in the AAC device. If we don’t know what words are in there and where they are located, can... [Read More...]

AAC & the Art of Unconventional Conversations

January 20, 2012 by - 3 Comments

AAC & the Art of Unconventional Conversations

There’s an art to having a conversation with someone who has significant communication challenges. One of my favorite experiences with this dates back to the 1980’s, when I was working with a preschooler who had Rett Syndrome. Julia was a beautiful little girl who lived with her (very young) mom and her grandma. Grandma watched Julia while mom was in school, and I spent a good amount of time visiting them in their modest home (a trailer) trying to earn their trust and figure out how to help Julia communicate better in school. – At home, as it turns out, she was communicating just fine, at least for the very basic things. A typical conversation between Julia and her grandma went like this. Julia paces around the coffee table, wringing her hands, rocking a bit, and staring at the carpet. She pauses in front of the TV and Grandma says... [Read More...]

Speak Out: Conference Favorites

January 16, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Just returned from the 19th Annual Statewide Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) Conference (under full disclosure, I am the Director of the CARD Grant at NSU).  It was a very busy long weekend that began with a free pre-conference educators day and ended with one of  the  47 session options. I have tweeted some educational highlights that included a keynote by Dr. Amy Wetherby about the new  DSM 5  (thats right no more Roman Numeral) diagnostic features for Autism Spectrum Disorder (that’s right again, no ‘s’ on the end) and a dinner party talk by Dr. Temple Grandin (wow!).  I  tend to look at conference information as a teaser… first information is highlighted and then I do a more in-depth review and analysis into specifics that are related to me. Quick Info on My  First 3 Favorite Topics/Resources The Learning Curve– resources that include interesting and interactive  materials for teachers of... [Read More...]

5 Quick Steps to Getting Started with the Unconventional Communicator

January 6, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

We know that ALL people communicate. However, when someone has  communication challenges,  their signals may not always be obvious or conventional.  Here is our Quick Step Guide to getting to know about someone’s specific communication.  Using these steps will help facilitate spontaneous communication and move communication along the continuum of conventionality and symbolism.   1.  Observe:   What are they doing that is potentially communicative?  Look for clues in behaviors.  Consider  proximity, persistence, expressions, repetition, intensity, or anything else that might expresses a message.  More ideas from the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness. Great information that is applicable to a wide range of early communicators. Don’t rule this out until you’ve looked at it.   2. Interpret: What does that behavior mean? Think about what would they ‘say’ if there was no communication problem. It can be a positive message (‘I want that’, ‘oh come on pretty please’) or a negative message... [Read More...]