Lessons from a PrAACtical Year

January 1, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Lessons from a PrAACtical Year
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Happy 2013, everyone! It’s hard to believe that we’ve spent a full year of prAACtical blogging. After 375 blog posts, tons of tweets, hundreds of Facebook posts, and numerous resources on our digital curation sites, we are so grateful for all that we’ve learned. Here are some of the highlights.

  1. You really DO learn more from your mistakes than your successes. We developed a lot of skills using blog platforms and other resources that we ultimately abandoned in favor of tools that were better suited to our purposes. Walking away from something you’ve invested in is really hard, but it helps to look back on what you learned in the process. In our case, what we learned from those ‘failures’ propelled us toward our goals.
  2. It helps to spend time clarifying what you want when looking for new tools/supports. You know that old adage, ‘Look before you leap?’ In hindsight, we probably should have done a little more of that. This is something we do all the time in our AAC work, but somehow that didn’t always generalize to our blogging efforts. Hmmm..that’s kind of interesting, actually. If two experienced SLPs have trouble generalizing concepts from one type of task to another, maybe we should think more carefully about expecting our AAC friends to generalize their new skills.
  3. Old dogs actually can learn new tricks. It may take a little more effort, but we can get there. Blogging, digital curation, social media, Photoshop, WordPress, and more: Repetition with variety helped in every case.
  4. Teamwork is a powerful engine. We would never have done this as individuals. It took two of us sharing ideas, finding resources, planning, learning, and writing to make this happen. Having teammates that we can depend on to contribute and hold us accountable is something very, very special.
  5. Passion is a high octane fuel. When we’re excited about something, it’s no problem finding the time and energy to work on it. Makes us think that one of the best things we can do for our AAC friends is to get them excited about interacting with others and getting competent with their AAC systems.

We’re looking forward to making these lessons work for us as we move forward. Here are a few previews of what we have planned in 2013.

  • AACtual Therapy: A peek at some AAC therapy sessions by SLPs around the country
  • Calendar of AAC activity ideas: Use it in therapy/classroom or send home to families
  • How I Do It: SLPs share their ideas on prAACtical tasks
  • PrAACtical AAC Does Better Hearing and Speech Month!
  • Celebration of AAC Awareness Month: Lending our support to ISAAC’s efforts to increase awareness of AAC each October
  • Magic Moments: Putting an AAC spin on SLP materials designed for high incidence populations
  • Connecting with YOU: We’d love to enhance our interactions with you. If you have an idea for our blog or would like to contribute in some way, don’t be shy. We would really like your input and, if you’re so inclined, your participation.

We’re grateful for what 2012 brought us and excited for the year to come. Hope to see you prAACtically every step of the way. Happy New Year!

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This post was written by Robin Parker

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