540 Search Results for tell me about it

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...]

5 Creative Ways to Use the Big Mack and Other Talking Switches

February 11, 2012 by - 1 Comment

5 Creative Ways to Use the Big Mack and Other Talking Switches

We all have them. We all use them. We all get in ruts. Here are some creative uses for using single message voice output communication aids. — 1. To build letter-sound correspondence: Record the sound that the letter makes so that the AAC user can participate in phonological awareness activities. Works great with multiple talking switches, each programmed with a different letter sound. – 2. To give time-limited access to a battery-operated toy: By using the Big Mack as a switch, you can record a message and the toy will stay on for the length of the message. Great for creating teachable moments to practice recurrence and cause/effect in a meaningful way. – 3. To build support communicators who are learning 2-switch step scanning: With this type of scanning, we use one switch to move the highlighted item and the other to select it. By using a talking switch, you can... [Read More...]

5 Reasons Why A ‘Speech-Only’ Approach Isn’t Good Enough

February 6, 2012 by - 7 Comments

5 Reasons Why A 'Speech-Only' Approach Isn’t Good Enough

I’m trying to learn to see the good in all things, even when it is not immediately apparent. Lucky for me, the universe just keeps tossing me opportunities to practice my emerging skill in this area.   – Case in point: A phone conversation with an SLP serving a kindergarten child with developmental disabilities. “We’re working on speech right now, especially oral motor exercises. He can almost extend his tongue past his lips. And in the last year he’s been vocalizing a little louder. Oh, and Mom heard him say ‘Pa’ in the car last week, too! I wish progress were faster but he’s come a long way.” – No mention of the fact that he has an expressive vocabulary of, um. ZERO. – No consideration that if we continue with this current rate of learning, he’ll be able to say hist first three-word sentence at about the same time... [Read More...]

What Gets Lost

February 4, 2012 by - 2 Comments

What Gets Lost

Imagine having one key communication strategy and no one knew that it existed. This horrifying experience was documented in the book ‘I Raise My Eyes to Say Yes,’ the autobiography of Ruth Sienkiewicz-Mercer. For years, she effectively used eye gaze with her family to answer yes/no questions, but when Ruth was placed at a residential facility, things eventually changed. Staff turnover, something we’re all familiar with, was the culprit. With time, new staff came in and didn’t realize that Ruth communicated with her eyes. Ruth was silenced for years until someone noticed that her ‘eyes up’ movement wasn’t reflexive or random. She was talking, but no one was listening.  — While this was an extreme example, most AAC practitioners can recount their own stories of people whose AAC messages weren’t effectively translated once they moved to new settings. The transition to a new environment, where untrained partners may fail to recognize... [Read More...]

5 Sources of AAC Inspiration

February 4, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Sources of AAC Inspiration

inspiration /inspəˈrāSHən/ Noun; The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, esp. to do somethingcreative. The quality of having been so stimulated, esp. when evident in something    We’re inspired by: Master clinicians, like Gail Van Tatenhove, John Costello, and Joan Bruno Clinically relevant research, like this work  from the AAC Group at Penn State Far-reaching projects, like the work done by Sarah Blackstone and others at the Patient Provider Communication group Supportive publishers, like Paul H. Brookes who keep cranking out top-notch AAC books like this one by Pat Mirenda and Teresa Iacono Groups that make cool things for kids and share them for free, llike Priory Woods

Learning about AAC Strategies in the Community….

February 3, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Visual Supports in the Community

How we integrated AAC strategies into a community event… The name of our website is PrAACtical AAC.  We continue to look for ways to make AAC strategies fit  praAACtically into ALL activities. We are extremely proud to be part of the Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism,  which is a large South Florida Community Event.  The Walkabout helps raise money services for individuals with autism and other developmental  disabilities and their families.  It also promotes a sense of community collaboration and awareness about autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities.  We are including this information about the WalkAbout not as a plea for money  (although read about the WalkAbout and donate if you are so inclined), but instead to tell you how we are incorporating AAC into community events. This past weekend was the 2nd WalkAbout Autism.  It was a truly amazing event and day! There was great music and bounce houses,... [Read More...]

Speaking Up- Too Late?

January 23, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC & The Art of the Unconventional Conversation, Carole’s post from Saturday, recounts a young girl who some people might have thought was not ready for AAC.  It reminds me a young man I know, Michael.   I met Michael when he was 14, after he was discharged from all of his communication intervention or I should say his speech-language therapy sessions. He was discharged at school because when he moved from his autism classroom in middle school to a high school classroom for children with varying exceptionalities, it was ‘felt’ that he did not need it anymore.  He had not made ‘progress’ in his speech and language goals, he did not talk, he did not consistently identify objects, and he did not essentially do a lot of things.  He was discharged from his private therapy as he was not making progress in a lot of goals there either.  Everyone... [Read More...]

5 Ways to Support Multimodal Communicators

January 13, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Ways to Support Multimodal Communicators

Like you, we are always looking at ways to take communication and language to the next level. We’re never really satisfied. Although we may be thrilled with things that our AAC friends are doing now, we can’t stop thinking about the next step. And often that involves helping communication partners facilitate the language learning process. When multimodal communicators interact, we try to react to solidify the language learning.  Here’s are some of the things that have helped communication partners we’ve worked with. We’re learning to REACT by responding, expanding, acting, commenting, and turn-taking.   1.   Respond to the Intent. What is the communicator trying to tell you? If you know what, then start doing it. If you’re not sure, take your best guess and start doing it.  For the emerging communicator, respond quickly. For the more established communicator, begin to respond quickly so they know that you ‘got’ the message,... [Read More...]

Talking About Talking

January 8, 2012 by - 4 Comments

Talking About Talking

A colleague and I taught a workshop awhile back where there was an interesting sidebar conversation. A special educator was trying to convince an administrator that even though her student used a high tech speech generating device (SGD), she still needed the software to create other communication tools, like language boards and visual schedules. Having spent a great deal of money on AAC technology, the administrator was reluctant to commit additional funds for that authoring software. “She has a $5,000 device,” Sally Supervisor said. “Now you’re telling me you need special software to make things you can print out on paper?”The teacher’s point, of course, was a valid one. Children with AAC needs, like the rest of us, communicate in a variety of ways. In most cases, they need access to a variety of tools and the training to use them effectively. Just like we do.We gesture. We write with... [Read More...]

About us

January 4, 2012 by - Comments Off on About us

PrAACtical AAC was started by two professors of speech-language pathology, Robin Parker and Carole Zangari, both passionate about AAC. Our blog is a virtual space where we can muse aloud about the state of the field, share information about implementing AAC strategies, provide resources, and discuss news of interest to the AAC community. Robin passed away in July 2014. Carole continues to blog on a variety of AAC topics. You can read more about our blogging journey here and here. PrAACtical AAC’s Mission: To improve the level of AAC services available to individuals with significant communication challenges by supporting speech-language pathologists and other interested stakeholders   Disclosure: This blog does not accept any form of advertising, sponsorship, or paid insertions. While we write for our own purposes, we may be influenced by our background, occupation, religion, political affiliation, and/or experiences. We occasionally accept products for giveaways or review. We try to avoid... [Read More...]