256 Search Results for communication boards

How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

January 17, 2013 by - 26 Comments

How I Do It: Encouraging AAC Implementation

Nothing makes us happier than hearing AAC success stories. It’s thrilling to hear of folks who are using AAC tools and strategies to communicate effectively. We love hearing how their language develops and the positive changes that makes in their lives. It also makes us curious as to what made ‘this’ story a success story. One of our goals for the new year was to give PrAACtical AAC followers a look into the experiences of professionals outside their own communities. Last week, we introduced AACtual Therapy, a series of guest posts by SLPs who are willing to give us a peek into their AAC therapy sessions. Today, we introduce How I Do It, a series in which we invite SLPs to share how they tackle common issues, tasks, or problems. We’re excited to launch the series with a post from Lauren Enders, a clinician who supports the AAC community beyond... [Read More...]

Choices in Choicemaking

January 12, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Choices About Choicemaking

Choicemaking and requesting may be the most frequently targeted areas for beginning communicators who are starting out with their AAC systems. That makes sense for some learners because making choices is a very concrete focus for interaction and is loaded with motivational power. It seems pretty straightforward but, like anything else we do clinically, there are lots of decisions and choices to be made as we delve deeper into the process. How can we craft an AAC system that targets requesting for now, but also supports core language learning? For communicators who are at the earliest stages of making requests with AAC symbols, the strategy we discussed earlier this month or simple choice boards are a good starting point. But unless we quickly address where this is all going, the client will be strictly limited in their language learning. There are many ways to do this. Here is one approach.... [Read More...]

Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

December 6, 2012 by - 8 Comments

Hello Holidays: 10 Great Apps to Gift

The holidays are prAACtically here and depending upon the holiday traditions you celebrate they may be closer than you realize.  Time seems to fly after Thanksgiving and before you know it, social norms seem to dictate gift exchanges, lots of invitations to people’s houses, and of course many gifts for friends and family.  An easy way to accomplish gift giving is to ‘gift an app’. You can give apps that are pure fun, educational or a combination of both.  To top it off, it is easy to stay within budget, avoid traffic, avoid crowds, and save tons of time (no need to wait for it to arrive). Before you think it’s too complicated, check out these ‘Gifting an App’ instructions by Cult of Mac.  The process could not be simpler and you can email the recipient(s) or print out a gift certificate (if necessary right before the gift is needed).... [Read More...]

Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

November 24, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

We love incorporating new vocabulary into fun motivating activities even when we are doing direct vocabulary instruction.  We embed new vocabulary in activities using all of the language modalities- reading, writing, talking, and listening. We use planned vocabulary instruction activities as well as unexpected opportunities to embed new vocabulary.  We like to stay within the theme of vocabulary learning but try and stay flexible in case a perfect opportunity arises that allows us to reflect back on an old vocabulary theme or mention a future planned theme.  The main goal of direct vocabulary instruction is more than learning a new list of words, it is learning robust word knowledge so that language skills can be broadened.    Consider these vocabulary instruction steps by Robert Marzano. These steps were not specifically developed for AAC users but if we add a language focus and a little more fun and active participation, they... [Read More...]

Vocabulary Learning Materials & AAC Strategies

November 20, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Vocabulary Instruction Materials & AAC Strategies Title

We are super big fans of Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT).   We need the PrAACtical resources that TPT offers.  In addition to paying ridiculously low prices for some great teaching materials and cool classroom resources, there are also many free options.  Check out these free vocabulary resources and have lots of fun.  As always, the materials are only as good as the teaching strategies that go with them. As we check out these awesome vocabulary resources,  we will use the following guiding principles and we will create appropriate communication opportunities for ALL learners to participate in direct vocabulary instruction. Active Participation for Everyone– Make sure all learners can make choices within the activity, respond to questions, add information, request clarification, and even ask for a break if they need it.  To do this we will need one hit message devices, visual supports, individual and group communication displays, choice boards, switches, etc.... [Read More...]

119 Free & Lite Versions of AAC Apps + App Selection Resources

October 2, 2012 by - 4 Comments

119 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps + App Selection Resources

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, the paucity of apps that allow for children to learn true generative language, and a few other things. We continue to advocate for AAC app selection to occur within the context of a feature match process that gives appropriate attention to the full range of AAC options. In this mega-post we’ve included our most recent update of free and lite versions of AAC apps for iOS and Android plus a variety of additional resources related to AAC app selection. Tools to Use In Making Decisions About AAC Apps Feature match form developed by Jessica Gosnell at Boston Children’s Hospital Feature match checklist created by Scott Marfilius and Kelly Fonner Our supplemental rubric covering language and communication features,  RELAAACs Places to... [Read More...]

Lightening, Thunder, & Rain Oh My!

August 25, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Lightening, Thunder, Rain, Oh My!

We live in Florida and there are lots of general summer storms. They can be very loud and dark.  There are also many hurricane warnings (like now for Hurricane Isaac).  Many children and adults with communication challenges can become upset or anxious because of the loud noises, the change in routines, and/or the heightened state of anxiety that is usually around the house or community. Because of this we are often asked to help find visual support resources. Here are some great prepared visual support stories and resources that we use: Bad Weather Tips and Story by Hands in Autism Hurricane Preparedness More Hurricane Preparedness Thunder/Lightning Storms Thunder Box   Sometimes though the prepared supports do not meet the needs for specific learners. Here are our tips for developing your own storm visual supports and resources   Creating Personal Participation Stories Use language of the story that is at the... [Read More...]

Self-Calming Strategies: 'Easier Seen'

July 28, 2012 by - 3 Comments

Self Calming Strategies "Easier Seen"

Throughout this month we focused on visual supports & strategies for positive behavior.  We have discussed transition supports, environmental arrangements, and consequence mapping.  As we wrap up, we don’t want to forget PrAACtical AAC strategies for self-calming. We like to think about self-calming like this- some weeks we need it more than others, some days we need it more than others. We all need self- calming strategies. Whether we vent to a friend, go for  a run, knit, take deep breaths, or get a glass of wine (although we are not advocating this), we all use self-calming strategies. It makes a huge difference. Sometimes though helping our students self-calm at times may seem “easier said than done”, but we know it truly is ‘easier when SEEN‘.  Self-calming strategies can help before, during,  and after behavior challenges .  We will often teach and use self calming strategies if we know a potentially stressful situation will... [Read More...]

Power of the Visual Planner

July 20, 2012 by - 3 Comments

Power of the Visual Planner

We need to continue to talk about scheduling…..especially as we talk about tools for positive behavioral supports.  We know that having monthly, daily, and mini-schedules make us ALL feel more competent and calm.   We have written a lot about visual schedules and visual schedule resources because we have seen schedules reduce or eliminate so many  behavior challenges. They have helped with transitions, wandering away during activities,  activity completion, asking repetitive ‘‘when are we going ________ questions,  and with meltdowns during a less preferred activity. We also continue to write about schedules because there are still myths suggesting schedules might hinder independence when exactly the opposite is true.    We personally continue to use  a combination of no-tech to high-tech visual schedules, but we are loving mobile schedules especially during the summer when we are traveling and moving around from place to place even more frequently than usual.  We gathered together... [Read More...]

92 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

July 10, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

92 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps

We’re back again with an updated list of free and lite versions of AAC apps that includes many additions for the Android platform. As in the past, we’re including some additional resources and excerpts from previous posts related to AAC app selection and the larger context of AAC assessment. We’ve appreciated the feedback on first draft of RELAAACs, our attempt to quantify some of what we look for when we try to compare AAC apps based on their language and communication features, and continue to welcome your suggestions. We do have plans to revise and update this once we get through the summer semester. (The trimester system is a killer!) —————————————————————————————————– – 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... [Read More...]