915 Search Results for Core

Strategy of the Month: Meaningful Communication Opportunities

April 7, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Strategy of the Month: Meaningful Communication Opportunities

April is springtime where we live and spring is a time of beginnings. It’s fitting, then, that our AAC strategy of the month speaks to the very beginning of AAC intervention. Learning how to create focused opportunities to teach or practice an AAC skill is a pivotal skill for SLPs. The concept is a simple one: create an environment in which the learner WANTS or NEEDS to display the target skill. – Communication opportunities are related to the concept of communicative temptations. As SLP blogger Becca Jarzynski  of Child Talk puts it “Communication temptations are pretty much just what they sound like: we set up the environment to tempt children to communicate with us.” Stop by and read her excellent post here . While Becca focuses on their use with young children, the approach can be used with people of any age. – Tempting people to communicate is all about... [Read More...]

HijAACked! AAC & Anti-Bullying with Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon!

March 14, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

HijAACked! AAC & Anti-Bullying with Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon!

Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon by Patty Lovell is a fun book that we like reading online* with kids who use AAC. Many schools have anti-bullying campaigns and read this book and others as part of their efforts to help children recognize and respond appropriately to unkind words and deeds. There are a lot of great resources for reading this book on sites like this one intended for use in general education classrooms. We decided it was time to HijAACk Mary Lou and share some ideas for using this wonderful story to build AAC and language skills. – 1. Beginning communicators could certainly contribute to the ‘read aloud’ portion of the activity with repeated lines, like “So she did.” Recording that into a single message device, an SGD, or an AAC app gives our student a terrific way to be actively engaged. 2. Students who can discriminate between two options can... [Read More...]

Visual Schedules 411

March 10, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Visual Schedules 411

Visual schedules come in all shapes and sizes. The process of deciding which one to use begins with two questions: What is the purpose of this particular visual schedule? How will it be used? Both of these drive the decisions you make about which format to use. If my primary purpose in making the visual schedule is to help a student become more independent in following the steps in a task, and I know the person is going to be seated at a desk while doing this, I may choose a horizontal layout that shows the sequence. Because it is a school-aged child and we are activity working on literacy skills, I consider a stationary format on the desk surface that has the student use a check-off system. Having the student cross out or check off the steps as they are completed, gives authentic practice with writing skills. On the... [Read More...]

Video of the Week: Aided Language Input Demo

February 26, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: Aided Language Input Demo

This week’s video features Gail Van Tatenhove doing part of a lesson on disaster preparedness, something we take pretty seriously in Florida during hurricane season. In this short clip, Gail is modeling on a large AAC language board/poster. She is working with a small group of adults who use SGDs and they are using core words to talk about the concept of ‘an emergency.’ 

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...]