Need information on selecting vocabulary for someone with AAC needs? You can’t go wrong with Lauren Enders’ Pinterest board on this topic. She’s collected some wonderful posts, documents, and videos. Check it out here.
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If you know someone with significant speech difficulties, BEGIN AAC NOW…. If you know someone, try something… Doing something, even if it isn’t perfect, is infinitely better than doing nothing at all…. There is no specific order for these suggestions, try what is appropriate and doable for you… A year from now you may wish you started today (K. Lamb)… So begin now at any level.. for someone, a class, a clinic, for a few… Create a Visual Language & AAC Environment: Visual Immersion Program, Meaningful Language Experiences, Importance of Using Visual Supports Speak AAC to the AAC Learner: Use Aided Language Input (ALI), Learning to Use ALI Get Assessment Information: Communication Matrix , AAC Evaluation Genie, Thoughts & Ideas, AAC Assessment Forms, Write & Implement Some AAC Goals: Goals That Matter, AAC in the IEP by Lauren Enders, PrAActical Goals Learn and Use a Core Word Approach: Core Word Communication Board Samples, About Core Words- First... [Read More...]
One of our core language posts from last month referred to the criterion of the least dangerous assumption (Donellan, 1984). This week we’re pleased to be able to expand on that topic and share a video by Dr. Cheryl Jorgensen, a former project director at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. As we near the end of a school year in the US and begin IEPs that will direct the activities for the next academic year, we’re all reminded how critical it is to set high but attainable goals. Sometimes, that means making the least dangerous assumption. You can view the video here. Donnellan, A. (1984). The criterion of the least dangerous assumption. Behavior Disorders, 9, 2, 141-150.
Earlier this month, we shared some ideas for making communication boards using color coding and also for creating boards geared to different communicative purposes. Making the communication board according to some basic principles is a good thing, of course, and it takes a decent amount of thought and planning. Even more important, though, is developing an intervention plan so that the augmentative communicator learns how to use the board effectively. Here are some of our thoughts on how to teach someone to use a new communication board. Model It We’ve talked about aided language input so many times that I’m almost embarrassed to mention it. Almost. The truth is, it is a ‘must do’ strategy when we’re first introducing a communication board, book, SGD, or AAC app. Incidental learning is important for just about all of the people with whom we work. It is never the only strategy we use,... [Read More...]
When we think of AAC and communication boards or displays, we often think of comprehensive core and fringe words. We think of a board that will represent the most possible communication functions, vocabulary, and generative language. However, there are many other ways to create and use communication boards. There are many other ways because there are many reasons we communicate and sometimes it is best to create a communication board that focuses on a specific communication need. AAC is not one thing but a system of communication supports, and for most AAC users, there should be a multitude of communication options that will aid in robust communication and language needs. All AAC users should have a comprehensive individual communication display whether low tech (communication book) or high-tech (AAC device or App). But…. many AAC users will also benefit from communication boards that support a specific communication purpose. The reason for... [Read More...]
We continue our celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month (#BHSM) with our Fresh Look series. In this post, we are delighted to share the insights of SLP Amy Roman, whose expertise in AAC supports for people with ALS is well-known. During the past 13 years, Amy has been a member of the multidisciplinary care team at San Francisco’s Forbes Norris ALS Research and Treatment Center. The AAC Program she developed at the Norris Center was awarded Program of the Year by the California Speech and Hearing Association in 2010. Through her private practice, she also provides AAC direct services and phone/skype consultations to individuals, caregivers and therapists. In addition, Amy is the Director of the Golden West ALS Association’s AAC Lending Library. She is also the author of AlphaCore© communication software available on DynaVox speech generating devices. Amy has presents workshops and at conferences on clinical and research topics in AAC.... [Read More...]
We love AAC technology and are deeply grateful for the options that are available to people with significant communication difficulties. We’re strong supporters of voice output systems and the autonomy they give to the children and adults with whom we work. On the other hand, we have great respect and much fondness for the “no tech” communication aids and visual supports. As a student clinician, I made my first conversation book for Sherri, a young lady who had learned Bliss at school but had no communication materials in the institution where she was living. In my days as a clinical fellow, I got ratted out by Davey, a client who used his 100-location Bliss board to tell the supervisor that I gave out seconds on coffee even though the rule was one cup per person. (I knew I should never have taught him interjections!) There’s no doubt – communication boards... [Read More...]
PrAACtical Thinking Happy April: Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and National Poetry Writing Month Happy World Autism Day! 5 Ways to Get More Popular AAC Style 133 Free or Lite Versions of AAC Apps & App Selection Resources 5 Things To Do If You Are Not Confident Teaching Core Vocabulary 31 Posts You May Have Missed in March Communication Circles:With A Little Help From My Friends Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols AAC & RTI 5 Reasons for Using Pre-Stroed Messages in AAC Systems Speak To Me With Your Eyes My Love Keep Learning About Core Words: 8 More Things to do for Autism Acceptance Month A PrAACtical Look: AAC at the Baldwin Wallace Speech Center PrAACtical Goals That Matter 5 Ways to Use Powerpoint in AAC Intervention Strategy of The Month Teaching Core Vocabulary The First 12: Getting Started with Core Words More on Teaching Core Vocabulary More on Core... [Read More...]
We’re off to a great start for Better Hearing and Speech Month! Today’s Fresh Look post comes from one of the most experienced AAC SLPs in the United States. Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has over 30 years experience working in the field of AAC. She is currently maintains a private practice consulting to schools and private agencies and is the Augmentative Communication Specialist at the TECHConnection in Shrewsbury, NJ. Joan has published and presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to AAC assessment and intervention. Joan is the 2011-2013 President of the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, and a Past-President of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Since 1992, she has directed Camp Chatterbox, a therapy camp for children using AAC devices. Joan is the author of the Gateway to Language and Learning© page set and the Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance© (TASP). In... [Read More...]
We know that there are lots of PowerPoint haters out there, but we’re not among them. While we have certainly suffered through a presentation or two in which it was used poorly, we’ve also been inspired by those who use it well. It has lots of uses beyond teaching and presentation. Here are some ideas for using it to enhance your AAC intervention. 1. Personal Dictionary: Create a dictionary with slides for the new words the individual is learning. You can record the pronunciation of the word, provide the definitions, give examples, illustrate with images, and link to external sites. 2. Switch-accessible Books: These are fun to make and positively addictive once you get started! In the AAC Literacy Camp we did a few years ago, we made lots of little books like the one shown here and printed hard copies for the kids to take home. Reading online is... [Read More...]