76 Search Results for object symbols

How I Do It: AAC in the IEP

March 7, 2013 by - 7 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...]

Choices in Choicemaking

January 12, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Choices About Choicemaking

Choicemaking and requesting may be the most frequently targeted areas for beginning communicators who are starting out with their AAC systems. That makes sense for some learners because making choices is a very concrete focus for interaction and is loaded with motivational power. It seems pretty straightforward but, like anything else we do clinically, there are lots of decisions and choices to be made as we delve deeper into the process. How can we craft an AAC system that targets requesting for now, but also supports core language learning? For communicators who are at the earliest stages of making requests with AAC symbols, the strategy we discussed earlier this month or simple choice boards are a good starting point. But unless we quickly address where this is all going, the client will be strictly limited in their language learning. There are many ways to do this. Here is one approach.... [Read More...]

AACtual Therapy: AAC Goes to the Zoo

January 10, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: AAC Goes to the Zoo

Welcome to AACtual Therapy, a new series on PrAACtical AAC that we’re undertaking in order to give you an up-close-and-personal look at SLPs who ‘do’ AAC. Each of these posts will feature one of our prAACtical friends, some of whom have been AAC interventionists for awhile and others who have come to it more recently. Each one is passionate about giving people a voice no matter what their age or ability level. They’ll be giving us a peek into an AAC therapy lesson that they use, and telling us about the strategies that make it successful. They’ll share a bit about the goals and objectives the lesson was designed to address, and what sorts of AAC their clients are using. Hopefully, we’ll see them in action Here’s what NOT to expect: Perfection. It doesn’t exist, so we don’t even bother looking for it. We’re featuring these clinicians because we want... [Read More...]

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...]

The Communication Book is Ready… Now What?

December 22, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

The Communication Book is Ready Now What?

The Communication Book is Ready… Now What? The fun begins….  Yes, we really do think that TEACHING a learner to USE the communication book is FUN. We get to participate in lots of meaningful language experiences, we get to be creative, we get to watch language blossom, and we get to be surprised by the communication competence ALL of our learners show us after prAACtice, prAACtice, and for some more prAACtice . The best way to get started with communication book teaching is to begin by trying out different teaching tips, strategies, and resources and find out what works best.   Each communication dyad (communicator & communication partner) is different so the combination of strategies that will work will vary but at the core of the teaching process, there should be fun, motivation, and of course progress. STRATEGIES and CONSIDERATIONS Aided Language Input (ALI)– We can not say enough about... [Read More...]

“We’re Hurting, Too.”

December 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

No Words

It’s been a long few days. Like everyone else, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre has been on our minds, in our hearts, and in our dreams. We didn’t want to write about it.  We didn’t even want to think about it.  We have refrained from tweeting and ‘Facebooking’ about it. It’s all just too hard. Too sad. Too overwhelming. Too… Well, you know.  But as the numbness started to wear off, we realized that we couldn’t avoid blogging about it. Why? Because it matters to people  with AAC needs, too.  And we, of all people, should understand that silence is not the answer. Unfortunately, we have been through other horrific world events and people who use AAC or communicate in other unconventional way have told us. “We’re hurting, too.” The SLP community has something to offer here and a responsibility to help where we can. As clinicians, we agonize. “What... [Read More...]

Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

November 24, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Complete Vocabulary Instruction Ideas & Activities

We love incorporating new vocabulary into fun motivating activities even when we are doing direct vocabulary instruction.  We embed new vocabulary in activities using all of the language modalities- reading, writing, talking, and listening. We use planned vocabulary instruction activities as well as unexpected opportunities to embed new vocabulary.  We like to stay within the theme of vocabulary learning but try and stay flexible in case a perfect opportunity arises that allows us to reflect back on an old vocabulary theme or mention a future planned theme.  The main goal of direct vocabulary instruction is more than learning a new list of words, it is learning robust word knowledge so that language skills can be broadened.    Consider these vocabulary instruction steps by Robert Marzano. These steps were not specifically developed for AAC users but if we add a language focus and a little more fun and active participation, they... [Read More...]