Looking for more ways to build AAC skills? Book reading can be incorporated into therapy sessions and instructional lessons, as well as part of the daily routine at home. Here are some ideas for using books to support AAC and language learning. Choosing a book: In most cases, we want the AAC learner to have the autonomy to choose a book. However, we can make this part of the AAC learning process by teaching the skill of choosing something to read and talking about it before the learner makes his/her choice. Goal Areas: We can use this time to build basic turn-taking skills, requesting, sentence-building, and new vocabulary, among other things. It’s also a great opportunity to develop more advanced syntax using words like ‘since’ and ‘because’ (e.g., “I want to read about sport because it is World Cup time.”) and various sentence structures (e.g., “First, let’s read a sports... [Read More...]
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Lauren Enders, an amazing AAC SLP from Pennsylvania, graciously shared this list of professional development opportunities that may be of interest. Lauren works as an Augmentative Communication/Assistive Technology Consultant for Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22. In the list below, she shares resources for AAC learning in both online and face-to-face formats. Enjoy! You can see more of Lauren’s guest posts here. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS FOR AAC IMPLEMENTATION ONLINE SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING OPTIONS: Power AAC modules: a FREE training series developed by The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)with Gail Van Tatenhove, CCC-SLP. This series of brief modules can be used for professional development by individuals or groups who are supporting students with complex communication needs and who need or use AAC. The POWER AAC modules are intended to build the capacity of school personnel to improve communication skills and provide flexible, generative vocabulary for students who need or use AAC. AAC Institute... [Read More...]
Words for emotions and feelings are pretty common in AAC devices and non-electronic communication aids, like PODD books and eye gaze boards. It’s wonderful when our clients can tell us they are sad or angry with words rather than using challenging behaviors or suffering in silence. What can we do to further their skills in this area? Here are some suggestions to get us thinking. Beyond the Basics: Consider going beyond the basic feeling words (i.e., happy, sad, mad, tired, scared) and including additional emotion words in the AAC system (e.g., frustrated, embarrassed, disappointed, lonely, worried). Don’t assume that this is inappropriate just because an individual has lower language levels or cognitive delays. To learn language, we have to have access to it. Model, model, model: Use these emotion words throughout the day to express your own feelings, and narrate your observations of how others are feeling (e.g., “Joey’s crying... [Read More...]
For several years, those who specialize in supporting AAC learners have stressed the need to develop AAC systems and programming that go beyond the communicative function of requesting in order to target the ability to protest, reject, comment, etc. This has been an important trend that will empower users of AAC to express themselves in much fuller ways. What other things should we be targeting in order to help our clients and students become more linguistically competent? Here are some ideas for goal areas to consider. Temporal Markers: While no one can overstate the importance of talking about our current needs, interests, observations, and preferences, we have to be careful not to get stuck in the moment. It is also important for our AAC learners to develop the language skills to be able to talk about things that already happened or that will/might be happening. Why? Among other things, this... [Read More...]
Ready to launch a brand new year? Let’s make it full of AAC goodness! In the meantime, here are a few posts from last week to catch up with. Monday: Happy Christmas! Wednesday: Top AAC Videos Thursday: PrAACtically January: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words Looking for more to browse? Check out these previous posts for a little AAC inspiration. Teaching Peers About AAC A Classroom Journey with PODD Writing to Read It’s All About Us Magic Moments with Tellagami
As we wrap up the year, here’s a look back at some of the most popular AAC videos. Did any of your favorites make the cut? Infusing AAC Core Vocabulary Into Interactive Storybook Reading Communication Supports for Problem Behavior with Dr. Pat Mirenda Aided Language Input Demo Core Vocabulary Overview Getting Started with PODD Do you have a favorite AAC video? We’d love to hear about it!
Are you working with families who are looking to boost their AAC use at home? If so, you may want to share today’s featured video with them as it is rich in both prAACtical information and inspiration. Karen Owens of We Speak PODD is the presenter at this archived session which was part of CoughDrop’s AAC in the Cloud Conference. Enjoy!
NOTE: Scroll down for the latest update on AAC app discounts and other sales. —————————————- Many of you know the work of Pennsylvania-based SLP Lauren Enders, whose contributions here and on Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media have been invaluable in our clinical and educational work. Lauren does a terrific job of identifying AAC, AT, and related resources and goes the extra mile in sharing them with others. Today, we feature a graphic that she developed to alert us of AAC apps that are discounted in support of Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month in the US app store. The discounts may be available in other areas as well. The graphic is not interactive so if you wish to purchase an app, you’ll need to visit the iTunes App Store and search for the app you’re interested in or visit the company’s website. OR you can scroll down to the bottom... [Read More...]
At the ASHA Convention last month, I chatted with an SLP about her secret longing: To take a sabbatical and travel the world to see AAC in action. Wouldn’t that be exciting?! In the meantime, we’ll have to live vicariously and peek into AAC practices through the words and pictures of dedicated professionals. Angi Pearce, a teacher at Kowhai Special School in Hastings, New Zealand, was kind enough to help us out and share her experiences in increasing AAC use in her classroom. Angi is the team leader for the Junior School classes (ages 5-11) and graciously prepared this post with support from SLP Michelle Roberts. As you’ll see, Angi is a highly experienced educator but new to the world of AAC and not afraid to take risks and embrace change. Let’s take a look at how a veteran teacher stretched herself to incorporate more AAC into her classroom. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC IN THE CLASSROOM My... [Read More...]
A handful of AAC posts from the past week. Monday – Five AAC and Related Resources to Explore Wednesday – Video of the Week: Reading with PODD Thursday – PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with ‘Bark, George’