School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle

October 29, 2020 by - 2 Comments

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle
A- A+

Welcome to the November post in the School Year of Core Vocabulary Words series! Each of these posts, guest authored by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, and Beth Lytle, focuses on a selected set of words along with a suggested order in which to teach them. The Activity Packets, containing sheets on highlighting these words in a variety of activities, and Data Collection Forms. In addition to these resources, they share ideas for customizing AAC systems.

New to this series? Check out the guest authors’ overview here.

Enjoy!

A SCHOOL YEAR OF CORE WORDS: NOVEMBER

by Michaela Sullivan, Beth Lytle, & Alisa Lego

To the parents, teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Paraprofessionals, friends, and other curious professionals or communicators – welcome back to the monthly School Year of Core Words- November Edition. If this is the first time you’re visiting this posting, we welcome you and hope that you find our resources helpful in teaching and implementing the targeted core words for the month of November. If you’re returning, we hope that you find our resources increasingly interesting, fun, and engaging.  Focusing on core words can seem like a complex process, but our hope is that you find our resources and ideas readily accessible, organized, and functional.

Because we are now lucky enough to have Special Educators as part of our Core Contributor team, one of the activity sheets this month will include a math activity, (in the Structured Activities section), related to the core word.  Additionally, our incredibly talented Core Contributors have included numerous activities and resources geared towards not only our early learners but also later elementary students and Young Adults. 

As you know, the School Year of Core Words’ Mission Statement is “To create a collaborative collection of free AAC resources based on core vocabulary and AAC implementation.” We are thrilled to announce that we have expanded our Core Contributor Community to 30 members strong, now spanning across the country to California, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Kansas and we hope to expand further. We want to share many diverse ideas and approaches to make this SYOCW resource richer with each passing month. As always, splashes of joy are sprinkled across each activity as we strive to promote a powerful but fun context for learning. 

If you’ve ever considered joining us, please do so and become a part of our community of learning and sharing. 

Enjoy Month 4 of the School Year of Core Words!

THE WORDSSchool Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle

Level 1 words for October: your, get, look, stand, sing, need, work, make, hurt, not, walk, cut, today, day, color, where

The suggested sequence for implementation is listed below:

  • Week 1: your, get, look, stand
  • Week 2: sing, need, work, make
  • Week 3: hurt, not, walk, cutcore v
  • Week 4: today, day, color, whereSchool Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle

Level 2 words for October: thankful, fine, cool, taste, dry, wet, copy, pour, mix, stir, cook, bake, bored, smell, safe, How’s it going

The suggested order for these words is listed below:

  • Week 1: thankful, fine, cool, taste
  • Week 2: dry, wet, copy, pour
  • Week 3: mix, stir, cook, bake
  • Week 4: bored, smell, safe, How’s it going

THE SYMBOLS

You can download grids with the symbols for this month’s words from the lists below. These handy tools can help us remember what words to focus on and be useful in our intervention and instruction. 

Level 1 Words

Level 2 Words

THE ACTIVITIES

These sets of Activity Packets are divided into weeks and can be downloaded for easy access.

Activity Packets for Level 1 Words

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle

Activity Packets for Level 2 Words

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth Lytle

THE STRATEGY OF THE MONTH: PERSONALIZING AND CUSTOMIZING AN INDIVIDUAL’S AAC SYSTEM

In addition to individuals with complex communication needs having access to a robust vocabulary on their AAC system to potentially say almost anything they want, when they want, and how they want, individualizing this robust system is paramount. First of all, the student needs to be able to access their system effectively, and thus the student may need as little as an increased dwell time adjustment to decrease inadvertent activations to needing switch or eye gaze access due to physical and orthopedic impairments. (These decisions are almost always made prior to ordering or determining the system, but if not, please consult with an OT or PT should you need further support or input).  Secondly, the appearance of the device may be more vital due to persons with visual challenges, (with the individual needing a smaller field size, larger symbols, or even high contrast symbols). (School districts often have access to teachers of the visually impaired and can assist with such decisions and help with design).  Additionally, some individuals relate to color coding, (as found with the Fitzgerald Key approach). The symbol set, (representing the vocabulary is vital for the student and the team) and student preference needs to be considered.  Next, is the selection of the ‘voice’ output. Does the student relate to digitized, (recorded human voice) or synthesized speech? This can be critical and it is important that individuals choose and feel comfortable with their selected voice as it will be something that is deeply personal, and that they can identify with and be identified by, (when someone hears them speak with their system).  Finally, adding vocabulary and personalizing the content, (without changing the core and the motor planning aspects in the design) is important in order for Individuals to be able to share vital information about their name, address, and other biographical information, and in addition, to be able to ask for specific foods, activities, and places, (for starters) so that they can experience the power in communicating and having more control over their own lives. The need for personalizing the individuals’ AAC system is ongoing as people’s needs, interests, skills, and information change over time. 

Please find the following additional resources on personalizing and individualizing a student’s device below. These resources will be helpful for individual learning and/or for team training. 

RESOURCES

 

DATA COLLECTION & ACCOUNTABILITY FORMS

Taking data to measure performance and keeping track of our own modeling behavior are two things we can do to strengthen our AAC teaching.  Here are some forms that you can use to support those efforts.

Our hope and belief was that once our Activity Sheets reached others, some would be able to relate to our approach and join us in our quest to share, too… and since our first posting in August, as of October 23, we are proud to announce that we have welcomed 27 Featured Core Contributors who will be sharing their ideas, resources and time to selflessly create Activity Sheets filled for you to use in your practice.  

Our Featured Core Contributors for the Month of October include:

    • Jessica Oseguera
    • Jordan Stuhltrager
    • Kelsey Robin
    • Abbie Duarte
    • Amy Burt
    • Andriana Nikolau
    • Shanaz Faisal
    • Sam Lin
    • Meaghan Rose Baron
    • Beth Kenney
    • Wes Heidenreich
    • Sophie Goodwin
    • Jennifer Yoshimura

We would like to invite you to join our Core Community to share your ideas with us as we post and share them with others.  Our Core Community is all about helping one another by providing monthly resources to help support you and your students.  To join our Core Community please email one of us with your ideas and resources and you will be recognized as a featured contributor.

This posting is dedicated to all of you SLP’s, parents, educators and therapists who are making a difference every day! 

About the School Year of Core Vocabulary Series Authors

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth LytleMichaela Sullivan is an SLP who specializes in the fields of AAC and AT. She currently works within the San Francisco Unified School District on the AAC Support Team where she supervises graduate students, works in a transition program and on special projects. Ms. Sullivan is also an AAC and AT Team member within the San Mateo Unified School District where she developed an AAC Mentorship program. Ms. Sullivan also has a private practice. She has been a presenter in the field of SLP and AAC at state and national conventions.   She serves as a board member and volunteer for the Nika Project, providing services, supports, resources, training, and repurposed equipment for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and internationally. 

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth LytleAlisa Lego is a second-year graduate student and candidate for Master’s of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Francisco State University.  Alisa is specializing in AAC through San Francisco State University’s federally funded Project Building Bridges.  Alisa is also a candidate for the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate.  Through Project Building Bridges, she has joined the Nika project and is providing resources for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and across the globe. You can follow Alisa on Instagram at @newfriendscollective.

School Year of Core Vocabulary Words: AAC Resources for Month 4 (November) by Michaela Sullivan, Alisa Lego, & Beth LytleBeth Lytle is a second-year graduate student and candidate for Master’s of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Francisco State University.  Beth is specializing in AAC through San Francisco State University’s federally funded Project Building Bridges.  Through Project Building Bridges, she has joined the Nika project and is providing resources for individuals with complex communication needs both locally and across the globe.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed under: ,

Tagged With: , , , ,

This post was written by Carole Zangari

2 Comments

  • Isabel Sturman says:

    I’m a parent of of 2 high needs young adults. Thanks to this website I have learned to navigate the world of AAC by essentially learning all I know from this website.
    Covid-19 exposed the truth that I could no longer keep both kids with me forever at home.. In October, I moved my 23 year old daughter into foster care. In those 23 years, I remained her one consistent/unrelenting AAC partner. I struggled learning how to program and maintenance so many types of devices and downloaded apps I still use today. Your website along with all your many contributors who shared their ideas and provided downloadable resources is a Godsend. Everything I know, I learned from PrAACtical AAC. Her word choice and syntax is super odd. But when she says “Mac n Cheese Delicious Dinner 6:00.” Her providers know exactly what she wants for dinner and what time she wants it.
    “Feet paint toes please” means she wants a pedicure (who doesn’t)? “No No thank you” and “Yes sure okay” are easily understood. Most all of her phrasing is quirky, but even to strangers her sentences make sense in context and she is persistent in being understood. I always said at every single IEP and ISP and to anyone who would listen to me “If there is one singular focus for her, it must be on communication. The thrust on every educational moment must spent on ensuring she has enough language to make others listen to her.” I knew that if she could communicate she would not be easily ignored or discounted. On behalf of myself and my Sweet Banana (her nickname) I thank you all for showing me how to incorporate language into basic routine moments like collecting laundry, brushing teeth, getting in the car, taking out the trash…all your shared knowledge and wisdom presented so beautifully simple in a way I could use it allowed her to have a life independent of me.

    • Carole Zangari says:

      Isabel, thank you for your kind words. It’s so gratifying to know that this site has played a role in your family’s AAC journey. All the best to you and your Sweet Banana!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.