How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

May 18, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert
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In honor of ASHA’s Better Hearing and Speech Month, we’ve invited clinicians who use AAC in their schools to share a bit about their workHow We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert here on PrAACtical AAC. Today’s post is from Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert, two school-based SLPs in New Jersey. For the past 8 years, Kaitlyn has worked with children who use AAC. She earned her Master’s degree from Ithaca College and remains passionate about AAC, and helping each student communicate to the best of their abilities. Rachel earned her Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2013.  She eagerly keeps abreast of the latest advances in AAC, which help her to deliver the most positive outcome possible for her students. Both Kaitlyn and Rachel currently serve students at Larc School.

Beyond Requesting: PrAACtical Ideas for Building Language in the ClassroomHow We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

To take one student beyond requesting during snack time we implemented a core language board on a Go Talk 9+. Previously, this student was limited to a few snack specific choices on a GoTalk 4+.  Snack time is a highly preferred activity for her, so it is a perfect opportunity to build language to transfer throughout a range of activities.

Working on core language during snack has allowed for more repetition and exposure to novel phrases.

How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

We vary communicative functions to give the student multiple exposure to language beyond requesting.  We also have the flexibility to model a variety of utterance lengths. Here are some sample core phrases we model using aided language stimulation during snack time:

  • 1 word:  want, like, good, more
  • 2 word combinations:  want more, no more, I finished, you help, look good
  • 3 word combinations: I want more, you want help

Here are some resources we find helpful for building language in the classroom:

Low Tech Love: Maxing Out the BIG Mack and Other Simple AT That You Already Have

There are many ways to incorporate no tech and low tech devices into everyday classroom activities. One way we make it work is to have everything available, set up, and ready to go. We love to use language boards pertaining to centers in our preschool to encourage use of many functions of language and promote aided language stimulation. By using language boards containing core and some fringe vocabulary, we are able to model many different phrases for our students from one word utterances “go” to multiple word phrases “car crash, uh-oh!” Here are some photos of how we max out simple AT in our classrooms.

How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

Here are some resources we find helpful for using simple AT in the classroom:

How We Do It: AAC at the Larc School with Kaitlyn Connors and Rachel Egbert

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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