Tag Archive: AACtual therapy

AACtual Therapy: Fun with Puzzles

April 4, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Fun with Puzzles

Today, we’re pleased to introduce SLP Jackie Kearns, coordinator of the Technology Resource Center at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital for Rehabilitation.  Prior to that, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ohio University. She completed both an undergraduate and graduate level thesis and has published in Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Jackie has over 5 years’ experience working with medically complex children in both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings. She has provided numerous AAC evaluations and treatment for children ranging from 1-21 years of age. In addition, she has done numerous presentations and in-services for staff at the Cleveland Clinic. We’re grateful to Jackie’s AAC professor and mentor, Dr. John McCarthy for recommending her to us. Therapy Activity: Fun with Puzzles Intended audience: Early intervention, preschool aged children, and/or emergent AAC communicators Type(s) of AAC: Eye gaze, reaching Picture communication symbols Single message voice output communication... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: “At first I was afraid, I was petrified…”

March 14, 2013 by - 1 Comment

We’re back to share more from SLP Shareka Bentham whose enthusiasm for providing AAC services to children in Barbados is infectious. If you’ve read any of her previous posts, you’ll know why we appreciate her perspective. Today, Shareka shares some of what she’s learned through starting AAC groups. Groups can be daunting for many Speech & Language Therapists. They sure were for me for many years. So to make the decision to start an AAC group was more than out of my comfort zone, especially as a beginning AAC therapist. However I think that it has been a great decision so far, as the changes that I have been seeing in the children, parents, and in myself as a therapist have been extremely encouraging.   As I keep stressing I am by no means an AAC expert, but I’m an expert in reflection. I have been able to review each... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: Fun & Functional Vocabulary

February 14, 2013 by - 3 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Fun & Functional Vocabulary

We are delighted to have Shareka Bentham back to share another post about the AACtual therapy she provides to little ones in Barbados. Last month, we followed her along to the zoo where her little friends got to generalize the language skills developed in therapy sessions. In this post, Shareka discusses her approach to something we all struggle with: selecting vocabulary that will both fun and functional.   One of my biggest challenges in AAC is choosing good vocabulary targets, and working on vocabulary instruction for early communicators.  By ‘good’ I mean targets which are functional for their everyday settings, representative, and most of all fun for children who are not only beginning communicators, but also beginning AAC users.  I have become the AAC ‘specialist’ at a school for children with complex communication needs, so I generally have to cater to the communicative needs of children from the pre-communication to... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: Teaching the Use of Social Phrases and Comments

February 7, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Teaching the Use of Social Phrases and Comments

We are so happy to have Deanna Wagner back with more AACtual Therapy. In her previous post, Deanna talked about her work with AAC groups for adults. Today, she shares a lesson plan and some implementation ideas. As a veteran AAC interventionist, Deanna’s therapy plan has many wonderful features that undoubtedly contribute to the success her students experience. Lesson/therapy Session:  Using Social Phrases/Comments Intended audience & type of AAC:  All devices/AAC users should have access to social commenting. Our Class: Middle school, self-contained classroom. Group of 3 students, SLP leading activity, paraprofessional, and Teacher of Visually Impaired supporting Goal for Overall Lesson: Use word/icon combinations to express opinions or make social comments Specific Student Goals: Student #1 will combine 2 icons for social interjections – please, thank you, cool, awesome, yum, yuk, ok (ECO2 from PRC) Student #2 will functionally use new phrases to chat or indicate an opinion (Dynavox... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: Breakthroughs with Bubbles!

January 31, 2013 by - 4 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Breakthroughs with Bubbles!

We couldn’t be happier that one of our first AACtual Therapists is Tanna Neufeld, a south Floridian on loan to the Pacific Northwest. Tanna was with us as a graduate student many years ago, and went on to build a fantastic reputation in our community for her excellent clinical skills. It was South Florida’s loss when she left last year and moved across the continent. (I know at least a few people scheming of ways to get her back.) Tanna is now working at the Children’s Therapy Center in Seattle. Tanna blogs at SNEAK Outside the Box and My Blind Side. You can read more about her at the end of this post, in which Tanna talks about using bubbles in her AAC therapy sessions. AAC Breakthroughs with Bubbles! When I first started using core vocabulary boards with my kids, I didn’t really know where to start.  It was really... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: Running AAC Groups

January 24, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: Running AAC Groups

We are just delighted to share the AACtual Therapy of Arizona-based SLP, Deanna Wagner. We’ve known Deanna by reputation for a long while, but got to meet her in person at ISAAC this past summer. She has been involved in the AAC world for over 20 years. Her story as an AAC clinician is an interesting one: “I was lucky enough to attend one of the first university AAC courses, at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  My instructor was Dr. Mary Blake Huer, who was a recent president of USSAAC.  Because we did not have enough courses in the communication disorders program, I also studied in the special education department and received a graduate degree in severe/profound handicaps.  My first job was as AAC evaluator and trainer at Curative Rehabilitation in Wisconsin.  I was lucky enough to meet a number of the inspirational team members who made up the model programs for... [Read More...]

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AACtual Therapy: AAC Goes to the Zoo

January 10, 2013 by - 2 Comments

AACtual Therapy: AAC Goes to the Zoo

Welcome to AACtual Therapy, a new series on PrAACtical AAC that we’re undertaking in order to give you an up-close-and-personal look at SLPs who ‘do’ AAC. Each of these posts will feature one of our prAACtical friends, some of whom have been AAC interventionists for awhile and others who have come to it more recently. Each one is passionate about giving people a voice no matter what their age or ability level. They’ll be giving us a peek into an AAC therapy lesson that they use, and telling us about the strategies that make it successful. They’ll share a bit about the goals and objectives the lesson was designed to address, and what sorts of AAC their clients are using. Hopefully, we’ll see them in action Here’s what NOT to expect: Perfection. It doesn’t exist, so we don’t even bother looking for it. We’re featuring these clinicians because we want... [Read More...]

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