70 Search Results for PECS

Strategy of the Month: Teaching Basic Requests

January 5, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Strategy of the Month: Teaching Basic Requests

With the start of the new year, we thought it would be a good time to get back to basics. So this month, we’ll talk about the nitty gritty of teaching basic requesting to someone who is first learning to communicate using AAC. For learners who are not sending purposeful communication signals or those who seem unaware that communication involves interaction with another person, we think it makes sense to consider using the PECS curriculum. Why? Because the act of being assisted in physically giving a picture symbol to another person in exchange for a desired object can be an efficient way for someone to gain awareness of two critical principles. First, they learn that communication gives them the power to impact their environment. Secondly, the direct exchange highlights the fact that communication involves two people. As the PECS curriculum is already well established, its procedures will not be addressed... [Read More...]

5 Things to Do to See If Your Vocabulary Instruction is Effective (& 5 Things to Do If It’s Not)

December 7, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Things to Do to See If Your Vocabulary Instruction is Effective (& 5 Things to Do If It’s Not)

Last month, we talked a lot about semantic intervention with people who are learning AAC. Once we got started, we realized we could have done another whole month on the topic, but we had to move on. We ran out of time before we could really talk about outcome measures. As clinicians, how do we determine whether our therapy is effective? Here are some things to do after you’ve provided high-quality, well-sequenced vocabulary instruction. Make small comprehension checks a regular part of your instruction. Ask the AAC learner to tell you about ___ . Then score their response as objectively as possible (e.g., complete & correct, correct but incomplete, vague, incorrect). You’ll get some real-time feedback and can clarify or re-teach as necessary. Assess in a standardized fashion. Standardized means doing something the same way each time. Set up appropriate assessment tasks that allow you to judge how well the... [Read More...]

A Myth About Visual Schedules Lives On – Again:(:(

June 8, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

A PrAACtical AAC Myth Lives On

A myth about visual schedules continues to rear its ugly head in a prAACtical situation.  Another family was instructed to discontinue a visual schedule because “the schedule will become a crutch, the schedule will result in dependence, and the schedule can not be used forever or all over town”. I need to start with an apology for not following up after my earlier post when I first realized that the visual schedule myth lived on.  Maybe my punishment was hearing the same myth repeated  (though it doesn’t seem fair that a student was impacted in the process).  But maybe it was a teaching opportunity for me.  It certainly made me respond quickly. So now for the down and dirty summary of my conversation with the other ‘professional’ . Having the conversation was my attempt at helping my student receive the visual language supports that she needed.  I have to admit, it... [Read More...]

AAC ASD App From the Ivory Tower

May 19, 2012 by - 1 Comment

AAC ASD App From the Ivory Tower

Today we pass the reins to Dr. Oliver Wendt from my alma mater, Purdue University. Purdue’s AAC program has made a great many contributions to the field and the tradition continues with the development of SpeakAll, an AAC app modelled after the PECS strategy. In this post, Dr. Wendt explains how a service-oriented project came to benefit so many individuals with significant communication difficulties. — – SpeakAll! An iPad App Addressing Particular Needs of Learners with Autism – An interdisciplinary team of Purdue University students from engineering, special education, and speech-language pathology has developed a simple and “lite” iPad app that takes into account the particular learning characteristics of beginning communicators with autism. This particular Purdue program is titled “Engineering Projects in Community Service” (EPICS). – The free app is called SpeakAll! and is available for download at the iTunes store here. SpeakAll! has been modeled after the Picture Exchange... [Read More...]

International Cri du Chat Awareness Week

May 14, 2012 by - 2 Comments

International Cri du Chat Awareness Week

– Today’s post is in honor of the first ever International Cri du Chat Awareness Week and the lovely young lady pictured here (as well as in the brochure linked below). – Cri Du Chat Syndrome (CdCS, also called Lejeune’s syndrome and 5p deletion) is a low incidence genetic disorder caused by a deletion on the short arm of chromosome 5 (5p-). Most children with CCS experience general developmental and communication delays, some of which are quite significant. They tend to have strengths in receptive language. Their speech is often marked by frequent articulation errors, small phonetic inventories, and restricted syllable shapes. Many infants and children with CdCS also have feeding and swallowing difficulties. Children with CdCS have a higher co-occurrence of cleft lip/palate. – 1. 5p- Society (US) and the Annual Conference: Positive Attitude, Reaching New Heights (July, 26-29 in Denver, CO). This group also has a network of... [Read More...]

A Myth about Visual Schedules Live On :(

April 30, 2012 by - 2 Comments

A Myth About Visual Schedules Lives On

Nooooo, not again.   A myth about visual schedules continues to rear its ugly head in a prAACtical situation (maybe we can reframe it into a learning opportunity??). Some history- A parent of twin girls with autism (age 15 and two other younger children– yes total 4) stopped by our office to pick up some autism awareness materials yesterday (a super busy mom in so many ways —going out of her way to help our community).  As we were exchanging pleasantries and getting updates on how the girls were doing, we heard something that continues to surprise us–(and not in a good way).  What did we hear? We heard that the girls were doing relatively well (not the surprising comment) but that mom was extra busy because the girls were no longer independent in taking their showers.   They could do it by themselves but didn’t like the sensory input of soap... [Read More...]

PrAACtical Play: Creating Communication Opportunities with Favorite Toys

April 21, 2012 by - 4 Comments

PrAACtical Play: Creating Communication Opportunities with Favorite Toys

– Guest post by Stefanie Finocchio, M.S., CCC-CF As we’ve said before, we feel incredibly fortunate to have made our careers educating the next generation of SLPs. Sharing what we’e learned about AAC, AT, autism, literacy, and language intervention with graduate student clinicians is a challenge we both love. In this post, we share the wonderful ideas of a recent graduate, Stefanie Finocchio. Although she has only been out of grad school for a few months, Stefanie has some very prAACtical ideas about how to create communication opportunities for young children who are learning to use AAC. – One of my favorite “go-to” activities/games that I use frequently with my students diagnosed with autism is the Playskool Busy Gears game by Hasbro.  It comes with 11 plastic gears of all different sizes and colors. Once a gear is placed on the board, you hit a button on the bottom and... [Read More...]

Visual Schedule Wrap-Up

March 31, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Visual Schedule Wrap-Up

In this last post on our March Strategy of the Month, visual schedules, we address a couple of questions about using schedules and end with a list of helpful resources. Lots to click on and explore! – What about activities that don’t happen very often? How do we incorporate those into the schedule? Many of the learners with whom we work get quite stressed when the typical routine is violated. It could be an undesired change, like a fire drill or a dentist appointment. Or it could be that a regular event gets cancelled, such as when our music therapist is out sick or when outdoor recess is cancelled due to bad weather. Even changes that involve the addition of a positive event, such as a birthday party or a special classroom guest, could lead to stress and meltdown. If we have advance notice of the change, we can use... [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 Things To Do Before You Choose an AAC App: Take A GULP

January 11, 2012 by - 1 Comment

5 Things To Do Before You Choose an AAC App: Take A GULP

Thinking about getting an AAC app for someone you know with significant communication difficulties? There are some exciting options out there and more AAC apps are being released all the time. It’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities and click on the harmless little ‘buy’ button. We know. We’ve done it, too. And learned from it. So, next time you are thinking about buying an AAC app, stop for a second and take A GULP: Ask: What do I want the person to be able to do with this app? An app for generative language has very different specs than and app for choice-making. Get a comprehensive list of AAC apps, like this one from Spectronics, or consider a product like AAC Apps Assistant . Explore the product videos on iTunes, YouTube or at the vendor’s website. Use a feature match approach to assessment to ensure a good... [Read More...]