901 Search Results for Core

AACtual Progress: Learning to Use Aided Language Input

February 25, 2012 by - 1 Comment

AACtual Progress: Learning to Use Aided Language Input

The only thing better than watching someone who uses AAC get the hang of it, is having the privilege of seeing this develop in future SLPs. Turn up the music, it’s time for the Happy Dance! I had the distinct pleasure this week of watching some of our graduate student clinicians ‘get it’ with respect to using the Strategy of the Month, Aided Language Input. It’s taken a few weeks, but then again they only see their AAC friends for a short amount of time. – Here are a few things we learned along the way. – 1. It takes time to get good at this. We’re speaking pidgin AAC until we get fluent, so just keep at it. Give yourself permission to be halting at first. Keep at it and the fluency will come. 2. It helps to start small. If the communication aid, SGD, or app is complex,... [Read More...]

5 Ways SLPs Can Support Friendships for People who Use AAC

February 22, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 Ways SLPs Can Support Friendships for People who Use AAC

No feeling person could read Louise Kinross‘s post, My Child’s Dream: To Have Friends, without being moved. One of the most basic fervent wishes that all parents have is for their sons and daughters to make and keep friends. Disabled or not, parents fear loneliness for their kids, and rightfully so. Loneliness is a sharp and lasting pain.  And, in many cases, completely unnecessary. Kinross’s post, brought to my attention by Ellen Seidman of (Love that Max), inspired me to generate this list of things that we SLP’s can and should be doing to support kids and families. is 1. Make friendship skills a priority: Are there friendship goals in the IEP? There could be. If you’re thinking about working on a social skill, take a step back and see if it makes sense to focus more specifically on communication skills in the context of making and keeping friends. Educationally relevant?... [Read More...]

HijAACked! Putting An AAC Twist on Gen Ed AACtivities: The Hallelujah Flight

February 19, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

HijAACked! Putting An AAC Twist on Gen Ed AACtivities: The Hallelujah Flight

This is the first in an occasional series of posts in which we take activities designed for students in general education and tweak them a bit to make them into opportunities for AAC teaching. We’ll be building on great ideas from clinicians, parents, and educators (giving credit where it is due, of course). – The first HijAACked activity is from the Classroom Magic blog by Selina Smith.  We chose this one because it gives us a chance to promote one of our favorite online book sources, We Give Books and share a wonderful book that supports Black History Month. We Give Books is a project of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Books (you can find out more here). The Hallelujah Flight is the story of pilot James Banning and his good friend, mechanic Thomas Allen, flew cross country during the Great Depression. Written by former teacher Phil Bildner, this book... [Read More...]

Magic Moments: AAC Intervention with Stop and Go App

February 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments: AAC Intervention with Stop and Go app

We’re always looking for engaging ways to give our preschool children practice with their core word vocabulary. Stop and Go by ShortStack is an app that will get your little friends using core language without even realizing how much practice they are getting. — We love the simple structure of the app, which shows vehicles stopped at a traffic light. We see and hear the name of the vehicle and then press the green light for the vehicle to go. It has an English or a Spanish option and lots of interactive elements to try and then talk about. — Magic Moments with Stop and Go 1. Core Word Practice: As expected, there are tons of opportunities for the child to move the vehicles in this app. Using the strategy of controlled access, we can elicit ‘stop’ and ‘go’ multiple times in this game. 2. More Core Word Practice –... [Read More...]

5 Quick Wishes for SGDs & Apps

February 9, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Quick Wishes for SGDs & Apps

With apologies to the SGD and app designers for making things more complicated for you  we offer up these wishes for the next generation of AAC devices and apps. Everything should have a readily accessible ‘un-do’ button. Seriously, folks. Are we the only ones who make mistakes? AAC devices/apps that let you pick the symbol set/system and organize the vocabulary accordingly. Variety is still the spice of life. A universal standard or convention across SGDs/apps for button shapes and color-coding, with option to customize, of course. (Isn’t it great to have your cake and be able to eat it, too?!) Built in core word libraries that make it easy to populate screens with the words we use most often ‘Smart’ templates that suggest vocabulary and organization options as you build the display. – How about you? What do you dream of in the next generation of AAC technology?

What Gets Lost

February 4, 2012 by - 2 Comments

What Gets Lost

Imagine having one key communication strategy and no one knew that it existed. This horrifying experience was documented in the book ‘I Raise My Eyes to Say Yes,’ the autobiography of Ruth Sienkiewicz-Mercer. For years, she effectively used eye gaze with her family to answer yes/no questions, but when Ruth was placed at a residential facility, things eventually changed. Staff turnover, something we’re all familiar with, was the culprit. With time, new staff came in and didn’t realize that Ruth communicated with her eyes. Ruth was silenced for years until someone noticed that her ‘eyes up’ movement wasn’t reflexive or random. She was talking, but no one was listening.  — While this was an extreme example, most AAC practitioners can recount their own stories of people whose AAC messages weren’t effectively translated once they moved to new settings. The transition to a new environment, where untrained partners may fail to recognize... [Read More...]

We're Learning: Speak for Yourself App

January 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

We're Learning: Speak for Yourself App

We’re super excited to see more and more AAC apps give real attention to core language. There are plenty of AAC tools and apps that allow for choicemaking, requesting, and other types of functional communication. Not all of them, however, have the key ingredients for the development of linguistic competence. We’ll be talking more about that in future posts, but for now, let’s just celebrate the fact that more AAC apps have what it takes for us to teach morphology and syntax.Speak for Yourself is one of the newest kids on the block and it looks like this one was worth waiting for. Developed by two SLPs, Heidi LoStracco and Renee Collender, Speak for Yourself piqued my interest when I saw it at the ASHA convention in San Diego. We’re having fun exploring what it can do and looking forward to using Speak for Yourself with some of our AAC... [Read More...]

Magic Moments: AAC Intervention with Apps You Love – Painting with Time

January 15, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments: AAC Intervention with Apps You Love - Painting with Time

Sean Sweeney, from Speech Techies, always has great ideas for free or low cost apps or web-based materials that have wonderful therapeutic potential. Recently, he posted about Painting with Time, a free app that you can read about here. It’s such a cool app that we decided to use it to launch our Magic Moments series. – Magic Moments is an occasional series that gives PrAACtical suggestions for therapy materials, apps, software, and websites that are easy for SLPs to access and use in their clinical work. We’ll focus on materials that many of us already own and use, as well as on free or nearly free materials. Sometimes the materials will be electronic, like iPad apps or software. Other times, we’ll go ‘old school’ and bring out some of our favorite therapy materials, like toys, games, photo albums, and more. The focus will be on using those materials to teach language... [Read More...]

Big Ideas on AAC Systems

January 14, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Magic Moments: AAC Intervention with Apps You Love - Painting with Time

I had some great conversations with families this month about AAC and how to effectively translate strategies from therapy and school to a home environment. Although their children were all different ages, had various disabilities, and used a diverse set of AAC tools, there were a couple of common elements in those conversations.One thing that played a central role was this question: What IS an AAC system? We all know the textbook definition of AAC and that it refers to a set of tools, techniques, and strategies used to enhance the communication of people with significant language difficulties. We know that AAC is often subdivided into unaided communication (including gestures, signs, movement, vocalization, etc) and aided communication (such as communication books, speech generating devices [SGDs], and choice boards).But the general case is only helpful if you’re in AAC class or studying for the PRAXIS. In clinical practice, we need to... [Read More...]

Keeping Some of the Past

January 4, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

2012 is here and we have been reflecting on some videos (just a few) that will remain in our PrAACtical tool box. These videos ‘say’ it   better than any words, lecture, or article.  They inspire active exploration into the topic as you think about AAC systems & inclusion at home and the community. About Core Words About Employment And the program expands For critics of technology