72 Search Results for object symbols

AAC Assessment for People with Aphasia

June 1, 2013 by - 1 Comment

AAC Assessment for People with Aphasia

Many people with aphasia fail to regain sufficient speech and language skills to meet their communication needs. With more than one million people with aphasia in the US alone, chances are most people reading this know at least one person affected by the disorder. While many go on to regain functional speech and language skills, some remain unable to communicate well enough catch up with a neighbor, talk about bills with a spouse, ask a question in a store, play with a grandchild, or tell their healthcare providers about side effects or symptoms. It’s hard to really imagine how devastating and isolating this experience may be. Aphasia Awareness Month seemed like the perfect time to reach out to SLPs with information on AAC for people with aphasia. In this post, we’ll share some thoughts and resources on assessment. Assessment activities are, of course, driven by the purpose for which the... [Read More...]

Fresh Look: AAC for Children Who Have Rett Syndrome with Dr. Theresa Bartolotta

May 23, 2013 by - 19 Comments

Fresh Look: AAC for Children Who Have Rett Syndrome with Dr. Theresa Bartolotta

In our SLP training programs, few of us learned about Rett Syndrome or how to provide services to children with that disorder. We’re so pleased to have a guest post on AAC services for children with Rett by Dr. Theresa Bartolotta, Director of Assessment in the Office of the Provost, and Associate Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, at Seton Hall University, in South Orange, New Jersey. An SLP with over 30 years of clinical experience, she specializes in communication disorders in children with significant disabilities with a special interest in autism and Rett syndrome. Our field is still learning about Rett syndrome and we are still discovering new things about the range of skills and abilities present in the children who have it. In this post, Dr. Bartolotta gives us some background about the syndrome and discusses implications for treatment. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to post... [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...]

AACtual Therapy: Fun with Puzzles

April 4, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Fun with Puzzles

Today, we’re pleased to introduce SLP Jackie Kearns, coordinator of the Technology Resource Center at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation.  Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University. She completed both an undergraduate and graduate level thesis and has published in Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Jackie has over 5 years’ experience working with medically complex children in both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. She has provided numerous AAC evaluations and treatment for children ranging from 1-21 years of age. In addition, she has done numerous presentations and in-services for staff at the Cleveland Clinic. We’re grateful to Jackie’s AAC professor and mentor, Dr. John McCarthy for recommending her to us. Therapy Activity: Fun with Puzzles Intended audience: Early intervention, preschool aged children, and/or emergent AAC communicators Type(s) of AAC: Eye gaze, reaching Picture communication symbols Single message voice output communication... [Read More...]

Let Me Tell You Something- Narratives for the Beginning Communicator

March 23, 2013 by - 8 Comments


March continues with story telling or narratives as the Strategy of the Month.  All learners have stories to tell but some may need special teaching to be able to express their stories.  Goals for the beginning communicator can and should include narratives. Personal narratives are a good place to begin but any type of narrative can be taught with structure, routines, partner support, prAACtical strategies. Robust communication includes story telling. Yes, beginning communicators need to be able to express wants and needs however, authentic and comprehensive language involves much more. The quicker we start teaching, the quicker beginning communicators (or anyone) can learn. Beginning Communicator Narratives  3 Types (Just some of the options) Remnant Books are a visual and tactile way of telling stories by recording important events. Learners can help choose items from meaningful personal experiences which serve as a reminder of stories to tell.  Create routines and visual supports... [Read More...]

AACtual Therapy: “At first I was afraid, I was petrified…”

March 14, 2013 by - 1 Comment

We’re back to share more from SLP Shareka Bentham whose enthusiasm for providing AAC services to children in Barbados is infectious. If you’ve read any of her previous posts, you’ll know why we appreciate her perspective. Today, Shareka shares some of what she’s learned through starting AAC groups. Groups can be daunting for many Speech & Language Therapists. They sure were for me for many years. So to make the decision to start an AAC group was more than out of my comfort zone, especially as a beginning AAC therapist. However I think that it has been a great decision so far, as the changes that I have been seeing in the children, parents, and in myself as a therapist have been extremely encouraging.   As I keep stressing I am by no means an AAC expert, but I’m an expert in reflection. I have been able to review each... [Read More...]

How I Do It: AAC in the IEP

March 7, 2013 by - 6 Comments

How I Do It-AAC in the IEP

We’re happy to welcome back, Lauren Enders, an AAC specialist from Pennsylvania. You can read her earlier post here. This month, Lauren shares some of ways she addresses AAC learning in the IEP. Frequently, SLPs and teachers contact me in a complete panic because they need to generate an IEP and write IEP goals for a student who is using (or beginning to use) Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  These folks have lots of questions and most often, have no idea where to begin.  There are a number of questions that come up repeatedly in these panicked requests.  When approached by PrAACtical AAC to write a post about IEPs and AAC, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the most common questions I hear along with the answers I provide.  I will structure the post in a Question & Answer format in the hopes that the post... [Read More...]

AACtual Therapy: Fun & Functional Vocabulary

February 14, 2013 by - 3 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Fun & Functional Vocabulary

We are delighted to have Shareka Bentham back to share another post about the AACtual therapy she provides to little ones in Barbados. Last month, we followed her along to the zoo where her little friends got to generalize the language skills developed in therapy sessions. In this post, Shareka discusses her approach to something we all struggle with: selecting vocabulary that will both fun and functional.   One of my biggest challenges in AAC is choosing good vocabulary targets, and working on vocabulary instruction for early communicators.  By ‘good’ I mean targets which are functional for their everyday settings, representative, and most of all fun for children who are not only beginning communicators, but also beginning AAC users.  I have become the AAC ‘specialist’ at a school for children with complex communication needs, so I generally have to cater to the communicative needs of children from the pre-communication to... [Read More...]

Making It Work: The PrAACtical Side of Therapy to Teach Requests

January 26, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Making It Work: The PrAACtical Side of Therapy to Teach Requests

This month we’ve been talking about requesting and choicemaking, specifically how to teach it. Today, we’ll put it into a clinical context by talking about a hypothetical session that targets this skill, but also highlights other strategies. As you read about the materials, preparation, and script, look for how they incorporate strategies such as building specific communication opportunities {CO}, aided language input {ALI}, and expansions {EX}. The clinician also builds in repetition with variety so that there is sufficient opportunities for teaching and practice using multiple modes of communication. In this scenario, you’ll meet Jenna, a 5 year old with significant language difficulties secondary to Cri du Chat syndrome. Jenna’s communication system includes about a dozen manual signs (SIGN), 20-25 word approximations (SPEECH), a few gestures (GEST), some manual communication boards (COMM BD), and an iPad with a full-featured AAC app (iPAD). She also uses movement (MOVEMT), vocalizations (VOC), and... [Read More...]

Communication Connections

January 19, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Communication Connections via Requesting and Choice Making

The January Strategy of the Month has focused on requesting and choice making. These are really fun goals to implement. They fall under the  communication function that helps us meet our own needs (Behavioral Regulation).  When we get what we want, there is  a sense of control over the environment & we increase symbolic communication/language, and self-sufficiency.  It’s all good. The assumption for all requests and choices is that the learner ‘likes’ what they have asked for.  This is what makes the process so much fun, we get to do activities and have interactions that are positive and motivating. If only it was that easy… Sometimes it is not… But do not worry…there are plenty of solutions for common (and not so common) problems when teaching requesting and choice making.  As always,  set the stage for a positive TEACHING paradigm and then move to problem solving if necessary (and when it is... [Read More...]