914 Search Results for Core

Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

November 2, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments with Sentence Builder

We were lucky enough to snag copies of Sentence Builder by AbiTalk when it was offered for free earlier this year and have had a great time with it. It comes with prepared lessons at two levels and the flexibility to create your own lessons. Here are some ideas for using the ready-made lessons to build language skills in AAC learners. Core Vocabulary: We’re always looking for ways to practice an initial lexicon of basic core words, like I, is, have, and can. These words appear with frequency in Sentence Builder, which makes it a great fit for learners working on that skill. Those of you using this app in a group may find that this offers a great opportunity for differentiating instruction in multi-level groups. Parts of Speech: In AAC therapy, we often focus on the part of speech since that it how many SGDs organize vocabulary. We like... [Read More...]

5 PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps

October 30, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps

We love AAC intervention that begins and ends with a context that is meaningful to the learner. Not only is contextually relevant therapy more engaging and fun for the learner (thus, easier on the clinician!) but it promotes generalization to real-world contexts. So we’ve never been terribly fond of therapy that uses flash cards, or, more recently, the digital versions on iOS or Android devices. It’s a shame, really. There are a lot of those kinds of apps, and many of them have great graphics. That got us to starting thinking: What could we use them for that improves real communication and AAC learning? PrAACtical Uses for Flashcard Apps Make a Mini Schedule: Lots of people with AAC needs use paper-based picture schedules that depict the activities they do throughout the day. A flashcard app could be used in conjunction with those to show the steps or parts of an... [Read More...]

Beyond Behavior Problems: How Visual Supports Can Help Our AAC Teaching

October 9, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Beyond Behavior Problems: How Visual Supports Can Help Your AAC Teaching

Visual supports are not just for people with behavioral challenges. In this post, we share some ideas of using visual schedules and other supports to enhance comprehension and language learning. Let’s look put this into a clinical context. Marvin is a high school student with intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy who is learning to use a high tech SGD.  He is a personable young man who engages easily and comes to each session with a ‘ready to learn’ mindset. Most of Marvin’s goals revolve on learning to build sentences using core words. Although he has very limited literacy skills, he really, really wants to learn word prediction. This presented a bit of a dilemma, as I typically don’t  begin to teach word prediction until spelling skills are approaching the third grade level. Marvin has some terrific splinter skills but his overall spelling skills are probably around the mid-first grade level.... [Read More...]

5 More Handouts from ISAAC 2012

September 28, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 More Handouts from ISAAC 2012

In past posts, we shared links to some handouts from the ISAAC 2012 Biennial Conference in Pittsburgh. While it is great for those of us who attended but couldn’t get to every presenter we wanted to hear, the main idea was to help spread the awesome content to those of you who couldn’t be there. Here are some others that may be of interest. Creating a Core Vocabulary for a Common Core Curriculum by Karen Erickson, Penelope Hatch, Allison Dennis, & Marlene Cummings Baby Talk/Kid Talk PWUAAC Talk to Little Ones! by Krista Howard, Kaitlyn Graham, & Caroline Musselwhite Evaluating Preferred Augmentative and Alternative Communication Strategies for Patients in Long Term Health Care Hospitals by Susan Fager, Jenna LeDoux, & David Beukelman Prompting:  A Cautionary Tale of Use, Misuse & Abuse by Jane Korsten & Terry Foss Supporting Linguistic Skills Through iDevices: Cool Tricks with New Applications  by Caroline Musselwhite,... [Read More...]

Beyond ‘Good’ and ‘Nothing’

August 27, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Beyond 'Good' and 'Nothing'

  “How was school?” (Good) “What did you do?” (Nothing) This scenario plays out in many cars and kitchens in the after school hours and it can be hard to know who is more frustrated: the kids for being asked or the parents for not getting satisfactory answers. And still, we repeat the process day after day. Of course, we want to know the fine details of what happened and how our children felt, but in some cases, we’d settle for ANY school-related conversation at all. I’ll be the first to admit that it took me way too long to get the hang of how to get information about my children’s school days, and it seemed like just when I did, pow! They were pre-teens and then teenagers. New rule book. Here are some ‘lessons learned’ along the way about those afterschool conversations and some suggestions for parents of the kids... [Read More...]

Day 4 of ISAAC, 2012

August 1, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

ISAAC 2012, Day 4

Lots more ISAAC fun to tell about in Day 4! — My day started with a shorter version of the presentation on the preschool core language curriculum that I’m working on with Lori Wise. You can see the handout for that presentation here. — There is some fascinating work going on in the area in supporting the emotional development of children with AAC needs. Dr. Sarah Blackstone and colleagues talked about the developmental sequence in which emotional competence emerges.  They are working on an observation and interview tool used to collect information on a child’s emotional development and the caregiver strategies. They are planning a pilot study with the tool they are developing and actively looking for volunteers to use this tool with children who are developmentally between 12 months and 10 years. – Terry Foss and and Jane Korsten did an interesting presentation called Promptology 101 where they reviewed some... [Read More...]

ISAAC 2012, Day 3: Let the Games Begin!

July 31, 2012 by - 3 Comments

ISAAC 2012, Day 3: Let the Games Begin!

Today was the first day of the main conference and it did not disappoint.  The conference began with a plenary session that was moving beyond words. For me, the highlight was Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame joined in song by conference co-chair Katya Hill, and Snoopi Botten, who sings using AAC. Hearing the three of them sing songs like Puff the Magic Dragon and others made popular in the civil rights area did much to reinforce the notion that communication is a basic human right. The ongoing struggle to make that right accessible to all was highlighted in a speech by ISAAC president, Erna Alant, of South Africa, who rekindled our commitment to this effort. Another wonderful aspect of the plenary was the parade of nations, AAC style. Snoopi sang as the flags of the ISAAC members’ countries were displayed, and there were rousing cheers for all... [Read More...]

PrAACtical Alert: Free AAC Evaluation App This Week

July 30, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Alert: Free AAC Evaluation App This Week

Last week, one of our blog followers, Jeanne Tuthill, alerted us to the fact AAC Evaluation Genie, a software program from Hump Software, went mobile. This is a great program (now app) for doing direct assessment to answer clinical questions you have in doing AAC evaluations. Thanks, Jeanne! – There are 14 sub-tests: Visual Identification, Visual Discrimination, Noun Vocabulary, Function Vocabulary, Verb Vocabulary, Category Recognition, Word Association, Category Inclusion, Category Exclusion, Pixon Core Vocabulary, Unity Core Vocabulary, Unity Icon Patterns, Picture Description, and Word Prediction – Yesterday, I learned that the app will be free in honor of #ISAAC2012 for this week. You can download the app version of AAC Evaluation Genie here. –

ISAAC 2012, Day 2: AAC Goes to Preschool

July 29, 2012 by - 23 Comments

ISAAC 2012, Day 2: AAC Goes to Preschool

It was another wonderful day here in Pittsburgh at the 15th Biennial ISAAC Conference. It was a special day for me because I had the opportunity to speak about a really fun topic, core vocabulary teaching for young children with AAC needs. It was certainly a group effort! A talented graduate student of ours, Tathiane Paiva, and I shared a framework for developing a curriculum to teach core language in preschool classrooms, and used the curriculum I developed with Lori Wise (special educator and literacy specialist with UM NSU CARD) as an example. The basic principles behind the approach we shared are listed below. – •Language and literacy learning happen all day long. •Children learning AAC need high-quality instruction to learn and use basic vocabulary. •Children learning AAC need frequent opportunities for learning and practice. They need dozens of carefully planned opportunities to use their new words each day. •The focus is on... [Read More...]

PrAACtical Suggestions: Writing Goals for People Learning AAC

July 18, 2012 by - 8 Comments

PrAACtical Suggestions: Writing Goals for People Learning AAC

This post was inspired by a budding young professional who loves AAC and is DETERMINED to provide best practice services for the young students she serves. (See?? This is why we love being clinical educators!) We were chatting about a youngster on her caseload who uses an eyegaze SGD and is making some good progress with the technical aspects of it. Our conversation turned to goal setting. – First, a word about how to talk about AAC in the goals and objectives. For people who use SGDs, there are pros and cons to naming the actual device in the goal. Some SLPs favor that, while others prefer a more flexible approach and describe the device features. More about that another time. A more general concern about writing AAC goals is the tendency to focus more on operating equipment than on becoming an effective communicator. Clearly, we advocate the latter: AAC... [Read More...]