Tag Archive: ASD

5 Under-Used Strategies in AAC

July 14, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 Under-Used Strategies in AAC

1. Partner-assisted scanning (PAS) offers great flexibility and spontaneity. Don’t want to take your SGD to the beach? A print-out of the screens and PAS is a great option. Missing key messages for the trip to the doctor’s office? A minute of brainstorming and the use of PAS may just save the day. No way for your client to access her device once she’s in bed? A communication board/book and PAS just might do the trick. – 2. Voice banking: For people are likely to lose their speech due to a degenerative disease, like ALS, the option of saving samples of their speech and having it digitized for future use seems to hold great appeal. We’d love to see more SLPs familiarize themselves with this strategy and the tools to implement it, so that this option is more widely used about individuals whose speech is deteriorating. – 3. Qualitative rating... [Read More...]

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Visual Schedule Round-Up

July 9, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Visual Schedule Round-Up

Summer is not the season we typically connect with routine, predictability, and structure. Nonetheless, if  strategy really works to make someone’s life better, we try to use it whenever possible. Visual schedules work. They REALLY work. So whether you’re using them this summer or just preparing for the fall, we hope you enjoy this round-up of our past posts on Visual Schedules. – Riddle Me This (clinical rationale) Tech it Up’- 5 Visual Schedule Apps (tools) Visual Strategies 411 (implementation) PrAACtical Mini Schedules (implementation) Ideas for Teaching the Use of Visual Schedules (implementation) Object Schedules (video) Strategy of the Month: Types of Visual Schedules (implementation) Visual Schedules in Action (video) Building Complex Schedules (video) Schedule Changes (Video) AAC at Home: Visual Schedules and Supports Schedules and Choices (implementation) Visual Schedules & Inclusion (video) A Myth About Visual Schedule Lives On (implementation) Visual Schedule Wrap-Up  (implementation + resource list) –

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Thank You for a PrAACtical Giveaway Celebration

July 8, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Thank You for A PrAACtical Giveaway

We wanted to sincerely thank everyone for making our  first ever giveaway a true PrAACtical AAC celebration.  It was so much fun (Thanks Speech Tree, Tech in Special Education, and Rafflecopter).  We hope to be doing more very soon.  We feel like we got to know so many of you and are very appreciative for your participation and interaction.   Congratulations to Jennifer, who is our  winner! We know that our  giveaway was about  AAC and since everyone could not win, we searched for other opportunities that would give you another chance to win or get funding for an AAC app. The iMums The iMums website has a Speech Tree App Giveaway until July 11th. iTaalk:   App Facilitator Program iTaalk has a program that will grant apps to applicants with a minimum cost of $25. There is an application process and not all requests can be accommodated but they try very... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for Behavior

July 7, 2012 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for Behavior

Rachel arrives to therapy tense and upset. Mauro gets frustrated when the clinician presents new activities. Brianna starts to bang the table when demands are placed on her. Zach becomes agitated when he has to wait for something he wants. – Like any set of tools and strategies, AAC works best when the communicator is relaxed, confident, and engaged. Our July Strategy of the Month focuses on PrAACtical Supports for Behavior. We hope to share ideas for planning therapy sessions that help AAC learners stay focused, calm, and engaged. — We’re big believers in the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, what can we do to prevent or minimize problems like the ones experienced by Rachel, Mauro, Brianna, and Zach? The answers have to do with having clear and appropriate expectations, and using visual and AAC supports effectively. When used consistently, these strategies... [Read More...]

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Language and Self-Determination

July 1, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Language and Self-Determination

  Last month we discussed strategies for building language skills with people who use AAC. Learning to use those skills to speak up and advocate for yourself is another process altogether. In this week’s feature videos, we share a link to the work of Dr. Pat Mirenda, hosted on the wonderful SET-BC site. –

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AAC App Give-Away: It's a PrAACtical Celebration

June 30, 2012 by - 15 Comments

AAC App Give-Away: It's a PrAACtical Celebration

– “It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one. Two is two thousand times one.” (G.K. Chesterton, 1908) 1 budding blog 2 clinical educators 6 months of blogging 200+ posts 26,000+ page views – Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, or even the right one, but in this case, they’ll do just fine. – When we started this process in January, we had only a vague idea of what shape our blog would take. We only knew that the ‘old ways’ of sharing information weren’t having the impact we were looking for. We’ve had a great time learning about the blogosphere and now it’s time to celebrate! – Here in Florida, we can easily do that with another beach retreat, a lovely bottle of wine, and some relaxing al fresco dining. But we wanted to include you in the celebration... [Read More...]

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7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

June 29, 2012 by - 1 Comment

7 Apps for Adolescents with Special Needs

We have ‘grown up’ with many of our students and their families.  We have learned from the students themselves, their parents, siblings, teachers, and their other SLP’s, OT’s, & ABA therapists. So when we recently met with a terrific mom and contemporary ABA therapist, we needed to speak about apps for adolescents (goals and activities had been discussed previously).  The student communicates and organizes herself through natural speech, the Dynavox Maestro, apps on the iTouch, & apps on the  iPad.  The student is now 16 and she cooks amazing food, hikes through the mountains of Switzerland, takes inventory for her school, types shopping lists, puts together scrapbooks, and does a lot more really cool things.  Here is the list of apps we recommended to support her favorite leisure &  literacy activities, and quest to be more & more independent. We only stopped giving more apps when ALL of us were... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Toolkit for ASD

April 29, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: Toolkit for ASD

– Where do you go after the diagnosis? Special Needs Resource Magazine has two amazing resources for families whose children were recently diagnosed with ASD. They shared two Autism Speaks’ guides, Autism and Asperger Toolkits for Families, both of which provide direction for the first 3 months after diagnosis. Each one contains lots of helpful information by respected professionals, such as Lynn Koegel, Wendy Stone, and others. There are very prAACtical tips, including an action plan, useful forms, and a safety guide. –

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