Sometimes I Feel Sunny: AT Recipes for Success from CHoR
Shared book reading is a great way to get families involved in building language and AAC skills. Today we’re back with another AT Recipe for Success from SLP Sara Barnhill and the AT Team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. They’ve created several extension activities based on the book, Sometimes I Feel Sunny, to help families have fun and build AAC skills at the same time. As a member of the AT Core team, Sara is involved in AAC evaluations and therapy in the hospital’s clinics, out-patient program and Transitional Care Unit. CHoR’s AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia.
Their program provides AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently. CHoR’s AT team consists of four SLPs, two OTs, one PT, and one Therapy Practice Assistant. In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR therapy centers throughout Central Virginia. Today’s post is the first of several in which Sara and her colleagues share parent resources for interactive storybook reading and follow-up activities.
Shared reading is a fun (and important) activity that many children who use communication systems enjoy, but may have difficulty accessing linguistically. As the child of former pre-school teacher and librarian, my therapy shelves are teeming with books and related activities. As I began to see more and more users of AAC for on-going therapy, reading children’s books provided great opportunities for thinking outside of the box with core vocabulary. While modeling MORE in Bear Wants More came pretty naturally; using words like GET OUT with Bark George required a little more creative thought.
In addition to procuring grant funding for our AT “Recipes for Success” program, our hospital has a separate grant-funded program called “Ready Set Read!” This program provides a children’s book with associated language activity created by an SLP, fine motor activity created by an OT, and gross motor activity created by a PT. The books and activities are provided to families after shared reading is modeled in the therapy session. The major goals of the program are to encourage literacy development activities at home and to promote carryover of therapy goals. “Ready, Set, Read” allows clinicians to model specific skills with the book or materials in a session, coach the caregiver to demonstrate those skills in the session, and then practice at home with the exact same materials. While this program was not initially designed for users of AAC, we have recently modified the language activity sheet for four books to match the layout of AT “Recipes for Success.” The modified layout provides vocabulary to use during book reading as well as during completion of the crafts so that families of verbal and augmented kiddos alike can have fun sharing books!
The AT Team created AT Recipes (parent handouts) for core vocabulary and language,, fine motor, and gross motor activities. You can get copies of these wonderful materials for Sometimes I Feel Sunny here.
Thanks, AT Team at CHoR!
This post was written by Carole Zangari