72 Search Results for object symbols

How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

November 25, 2014 by - 3 Comments

How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Natoci Florka last month when I visited Michigan and am delighted that she was willing to introduce us to the Shared Community of Practice from the team at The Communication Matrix. Karen is an SLP who has served students aged 3-26 with various physical, sensory and intellectual challenges at Wing Lake Developmental Center (Detroit area) since 2001. She is a part time lecturer at Wayne State University where she teaches a course entitled “Communication Acquisition and Educational Interventions for Students with Moderate to Severe Impairments.” She is part of the Communication Matrix Charter group. Click on the image below to learn more. The Communication Matrix is growing into a Shared Community of Practice!  I remember the first few weeks in my new job at a wonderful, magical, school for children with complex communication needs. It was time for my first evaluation. These amazing students were challenging!  They seemed... [Read More...]

Research Tuesday: Photos Versus PCS – Babies Weigh In

September 9, 2014 by - 6 Comments

Research Tuesday: Photos Versus PCS - Babies Weigh In

We’re back again with another Research Tuesday post, a series organized by Rachel Wynn of Gray Matter Therapy, in which bloggers are encouraged to write about a research article that they’ve read recently. (You may also know Rachel from her amazing work in advocating for ethical services in skilled nursing facilities.) For our September post, we look at a study done with babies to see how they like different AAC symbols. SLPs frequently assume that children with AAC needs better understand and prefer photos to other forms of picture symbols used in AAC. In this article, we look at the work of special educator Alexandra DaFonte whose work gives us some insight into this issue. In this study, she sought to determine if typically developing infants at 6, 9, and 12 months of age responded to two types of graphic symbols used in AAC: actual photographs and Picture Communication Symbols... [Read More...]

AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Navigating Eye Gaze for Beginning Communicators

May 29, 2014 by - 6 Comments

Today, we welcome back Shareka Bentham, who has told us about her AAC adventures with the Harlem Shake, a field trip, and more. In this post, she shares her experiences in getting little ones started on the intentional use of eye gaze for communication. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I think that most Speech & Language Therapists have those moments in therapy where they’re wondering “Am I doing the right thing here??” I have been feeling that way recently in my practice as I have been nudged into the world of using the head and eyes for communication.  I was (with extensive research) once able to use an eye gaze board quite successfully with an adult patient in the final stages of ALS, but I had never used such techniques in my paediatric clinic. However, I now have a few little ones on my caseload who have severe physical limitations, and are unable to... [Read More...]

PrAACtically SLPs: Hungry for Bilingual AAC

April 10, 2014 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtically SLPs: Hungry for Bilingual AAC

We are so excited to launch, PrAACtically SLPs, a new series featuring the voices of graduate students in SLP programs who do outstanding work in AAC. We start off with a wonderful group from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Allie Rodriguez, Caitlin Rich, and Megan Latta are second year SLP students who will be graduating in May. They recently concluded an AAC course taught by Dr. Penny Hatch, who continues to mentor them in the field of AAC and literacy. I met these energetic young professionals at the North Carolina Augmentative Communication Association Conference in February and was inspired by their passion. In this post, they tell us about their AAC experiences on a trip to Guatemala. Hungry for Bilingual AAC?             Today, our population is becoming more culturally diverse, which, in turn, has caused our caseloads to reflect this change. There is a growing... [Read More...]

AACtual Therapy: Supporting the Development of Early Grammar with Kimberly Ho

April 3, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

AACtual Therapy: Supporting the Development of Early Grammar with Kimberly Ho

Our guest post for today is from SLP Kimberly Ho, an AAC specialist who operates a private practice, AAC Services. I met Dr. Ho many years ago when she was getting her master’s degree at Purdue University. She went on to get her doctorate and now  consults for a number of public schools and works with individuals with AAC needs from preschoolers to adults. Kimberly is active in teaching (undergraduate and graduate courses), writing (published three articles in peer reviewed journals) and public speaking (15 presentations at regional, national and international conferences). In this post, she discusses some concepts in teaching grammar to people who are learning AAC. Traditionally, individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) were provided with communication boards or speech generating devices (SGDs) filled with topic specific vocabulary often called fringe words. The field of AAC is only just beginning to provide early communicators with access to Core... [Read More...]

PrAACtical Communication Opportunities in SLP Sessions

January 13, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAActical Communication Opportunities in Speech-Language Intervention

Planning for communication opportunities in every aspect of speech-language therapy helps ensure productive use of time and effort for both clinician and learner. It is not enough to talk to a student, it is not enough to provide fun activities without lots of opportunity for active participation and more specifically communication initiation.  Another word for communication initiation/opportunities is communication temptations. Communication temptations are structured situations designed to entice a variety of specific communication functions or semantic relations (Wetherby, 1988). There needs to be lots of times where there is targeted modeling and then a specific, obvious reason for the learner to be the initiator of communication. A temptation to communicate. Take a look at this sample therapy session for frequent and multiple communication opportunities. Please let us know a favorite or creative communication opportunity that you use. PrAACtical Considerations Meaningful AAC Goals– All quality speech-language intervention sessions start with meaningful... [Read More...]

Core Words, Direct Vocabulary Instruction, & The Beginning Communicator

November 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Vocabulary Instruction & the Beginning Communicator

Direct vocabulary instruction is important for all level learners.  The beginning communicator needs to learn core word vocabulary from USING the words and one of the best  ways to learn how to USE core words, is to receive specific direct instruction with many opportunities for active participation. 6 Essential Philosophies &  Strategies Vocabulary instruction involves a systematic TEACHING process.  Add vocabulary or Words as an activity on the daily schedule and then have a mini-schedule for the specific vocabulary instruction activities for that day. Initially, apply an errorless learning paradigm. Then, gradually, add comprehension checks, but do not wait for ‘proof’ of comprehension before adding new words because we often notice that the beginning communicator will demonstrate comprehension during ‘unexpected opportunities- or when you are least expecting it. Once learners become familiar with some of the specific vocabulary activities, then have some choice making opportunities as to which ‘word activities’... [Read More...]

How Can We Make Clients ‘Like’ Using Their AAC? 5 Things to Consider

October 14, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

That’s a question we hear from time to time, and it often stops us in our tracks. The good thing about this question is that is signals that the clinician recognizes a stumbling block and is searching for a way around it. Like many things in our lives as SLPs, it’s all about problem-solving. So, how DO you make learners like their AAC? Well, for starters, we don’t like ‘making’ people do anything. Offer, entice, tempt? Yes, frequently. ‘Make’? Not our first, second, or third choice. If we have a really strong rationale and we’ve run out of other options, we may go there. When it comes to helping our clients learn to like their AAC systems, here are some things we think about. 1. We like what we’re good at: Until someone is proficient at aspects of their AAC system, it will feel like work. Why? Because it is... [Read More...]

The PrAACtical Power of Contrast

September 3, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

The PrAACtical Power of Contrast

It’s a(nother) new semester for us and that means we get the chance to work with a whole new crop of graduate student SLPs who are learning to provide AAC services for the very first time. It just doesn’t get any better than that! One of the challenges for all beginning clinicians is deciding what intervention strategies to use to facilitate their clients’ learning in various areas. Recently, I had a wonderful conversation about the power of contrastive examples. I was taught this strategy by Dr. Ed Kame’enui  and still use his ‘glerm’ activity today to illustrate the concept. The ‘glerm’ activity was quick way to demonstrate how to use carefully chosen examples to teach a new concept. Here’s the activity. You have to use your imagination and pretend this is a demonstration rather than a paper-and-pencil activity, but you’ll get the idea. And glerm is….? If I did a good... [Read More...]

Communication Books & Aphasia

June 8, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Communication Books & Aphasia

We know aphasia intervention has moved well beyond traditional speech and language training and intervention.  We are so happy it has moved to an authentic participation, functional communication, and social interaction focus. Communication books are one tool for helping people with aphasia be active participants in conversation and comprehensive communication. Here are some thoughts and ideas about communication books to get started. Communication Books- Communication books for adults with aphasia can be in grid format with relevant communication messages. There can be a few pages or many, but keep in mind that the more pages, the longer it will take to navigate. It is most important to include high priority and relevant messages that will support needed communication and not just ‘standard’ messages. There are many samples and templates that can be purchased or downloaded for adult communication books. These may be good as a start, but should be individualized when... [Read More...]