313 Search Results for communication boards

Strategy of the Month: Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary

November 2, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary

Teaching new words is something SLPs plan for in almost every service delivery setting. This month, we’ll focus on vocabulary instruction for core and extended vocabulary. Thoughts on Teaching Core Vocabulary In Advance Plan ahead. Make a rough plan of the core words you will teach and when you will introduce them to the AAC learner. Make sure there is plenty of variety, especially pronouns, verbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and determiners. Words for talking about time (e.g., now, later), asking questions (e.g., what, where), and negation (e.g., not) are important, too. Here’s a link to our post on A Year of Core and A Year of Core, Unity Style. Ensure that the AAC learner has access to communication aids with an adequate base of core vocabulary. What if the learner doesn’t have an SGD or AAC app that is core language based? If you can update that to something with good core... [Read More...]

Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learners

September 21, 2013 by - 10 Comments

Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learners

Like some of you, we are often met with skepticism when we encourage teams to work on literacy skills with individuals who are still learning the very basics of communication. Recently, we had the opportunity to begin this journey anew, and model a literacy lesson for kindergartners who have no formal communication system, are not answering yes/no questions, and do not consistently select preferred items when offered choices. Why work on literacy with students who are not routinely expressing their basic preferences? Because the longer we wait, the longer it will take to get there. Because it offers wonderful opportunities to build communication, too. Because when other people see us teaching reading and writing, it changes their perception of the student in a positive way. Because they will enjoy it. Because there are mandates for us to address the general education curriculum. Because if we set the bar high and... [Read More...]

One Can Never Have Too Many Visuals

August 13, 2013 by - 2 Comments

One Can Never Have Too Many Visuals with Robin McCallister & Jane Rairden

Today, we are so excited to have our new friends from the awesome blog lunchbuddiesplus sharing how and why they incorporate visual supports into their sessions.  In their lunchbuddiesplus group sessions, the focus is on social skills and they find that visual supports make a huge positive impact.  So as you get ready for back to school, think about the visual supports that will help make your goals and activities go smoothly. Robin McCallister is a Speech/Language Pathologist working at Mary Munford Elementary School in the Richmond City School district in Richmond, Va.  She has 36 years of experience in the public schools.  Currently, she spends most of the school day working withchildrenwho experience autism.  She especially enjoys  the social skills groups known at Mary Munford as “lunch buddies”.  Visuals are a big part of social skills coaching and Robin knows that one can never have too many visuals!  You are invited... [Read More...]

Making It Work: 6 AAC Strategies for People with Aphasia

June 29, 2013 by - 4 Comments

Making It Work: 6 AAC Strategies for People with Aphasia

People with aphasia are often most successful when a number of different strategies are combined. In this post, we discuss a number of strategies that we can use in our therapy and teach to communication partners. Augmented Input We’ve written so many posts about aided language input that we’re almost embarrassed to bring it up again. Almost. It seems like no matter which age group or clinical population is the subject of our post, that strategy plays a central role. It is the same for people with aphasia with one exception. They benefit from a broader array of input cues, such as gestures, writing, and even pantomime. Augmented input is the term that is used to refer to oral language that is supplemented with pictures, print, gestures, pantomime, and the use of objects in the environment. By using these things as you speak, you enhance the ability of the person... [Read More...]

Safety Matters: 5 Resources for People who Use AAC

June 21, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Safety Matters: 5 Resources for People who Use AAC

  Though she was not the first of my clients with cerebral palsy who made me think long and hard about safety, Marla was the one who kept me up at night. It was the seventies, and I was a PCA when institutionalization was on the way out and community living was gaining ground. Marla lived on her own in an apartment and, for awhile when I was a college student, I visited her in the morning to get her up and at night to put her to bed. During the day, she could get around reasonably well and call for help if she needed it. But at night, after she was settled in bed, she was pretty much stuck there until someone returned in the morning. She didn’t have the physical skills to use a phone while lying down, and, if there was AT that would have helped, I... [Read More...]

PrAACtical Thoughts on Challenging Behavior: Things To Think About

May 17, 2013 by - 3 Comments

PrAACtical Thoughts on Challenging Behavior: Things to Think About

We have had several experiences in the last couple of weeks relating to concerns from SLP’s and educators about challenging behavior (dare we say it might be less structure, less predictability, less routines, or just plain tiredness because it is the end of the school year). Challenging behavior is hard… and disconcerting especially if you feel that you have little control over it (imagine how the learner feels- almost no one wants to be unhappy and out of control). However, there are so many strategies and supports that can improve the situation. It is often about getting back to basics (especially if end of the year issues play into the challenging behavior).  The First 5 Questions to Ask: How Does the Learner Communicate? It is important that everyone has a way to communicate their own wants, needs, ideas, interests, and more. It is NOT good enough to just ‘know’ what someone... [Read More...]

How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

April 25, 2013 by - 6 Comments

How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

We’re so happy to welcome Lauren Enders back to share some more thoughts on AAC and the IEP. In her first post on this topic, Lauren addressed some frequently asked questions. Today, she provides a very valuable perspective on writing IEP goals for students who use or need AAC and some wonderful resources. Very often, I receive requests for support from teachers and speech therapists that are writing IEP goals for their students who use AAC.  When we sit down to discuss their questions, the first thing I remind them is that AAC goals are no different from any other IEP goal.  I recall a workshop I attended years ago presented by Gail VanTatenhove that helps put IEP goals for AAC into perspective.  Gail said that AAC therapy is just language therapy.  Isn’t that true? Aren’t we just teaching language?  For this student, language is simply being expressed in a... [Read More...]

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

April 8, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Things to Do If You’re Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary

New to teaching core vocabulary in AAC? On board with the concept? Know that it’s important but find it a little intimidating to teach? Welcome to the club! Actually, it’s quite a big club but you wouldn’t know it because lots of members are still closeted. That’s okay – no one here is going to ‘out’ you. But if you want to move forward in your AAC teaching journey, here are some things to try. Breathe and forgive yourself: It’s easy to feel like everyone else knows this but you. Not true. We tend to beat ourselves up for not being out ahead of the curve, but you know what? It’s not worth it. We’re all a work in progress, so let it go and just start where you are. As one of our favorite eminent scholars** has repeatedly said, “When you know better, you do better.” Get your own... [Read More...]

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

April 5, 2013 by - 11 Comments

133 Free & Lite AAC Apps & App Selection Resources: Updated

Here is our most recent update of free and lite versions of AAC apps for iOS and Android platform devices + a variety of resources related to AAC app selection.  We strongly continue to advocate for a systematic process for AAC app selection. We  recommend AAC app decision making in the context of a feature match process that gives appropriate attention to the full range of AAC options.  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 Go to Find AAC Apps and Reviews  Comprehensive AAC app list for iPhone and iPad by Jane Farrall AAC Tech Connect’s Apps Assistant OCALI’s listing of apps for individuals with ASD Tech in Special Education Aidis Trust Communication App Reviews Training... [Read More...]

Happy April! Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and National Poetry Writing Month!

April 1, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Happy APril- Celebrate Autism Acceptance & Poetry Month

There are a lot of celebrations this month. It is officially Autism Awareness Month.  A new name for this that has popped up & taken hold is Autism Acceptance Month. Awareness and/or  Acceptance seems to mean different things to different people but hopefully the intent is similar. We hope that this month is filled with great ideas to support ALL people with autism and their families. We hope that  educators, clinicians, and whole communities are inclusive, that they presume competence, and that they support communication and language using best prAACtice information and research. We do know that there is more to hope for than just this, like better employment outcomes, more appropriate accommodations, and more individualized support but if focus stays on the former, it seems then that the latter would improve. Plus we have more control (if there is such a thing) on facilitating inclusivity, presuming competence, and of course... [Read More...]