Tag Archive: beginning communicator

Five Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators

September 10, 2014 by - 4 Comments

Five Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators

What’s better than parents and professionals who are knowledgeable about beginning to use AAC with children? Connecting with them on Facebook. Here are some of the most active AAC-related groups out there. 1. Speak for Yourself Users Group (Despite it’s name, this one is not limited to families/professionals who use SFY.) 2. AAC: Alternative Awesome Communicators 3. Angelman, Literacy, and Education (Despite the name, the content is very applicable to a broad range of developmental disabilities.) 4. Apraxia-Kids (not AAC-specific but lots of good information) 5. PrAACtical AAC (Okay, we’re biased!)  

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Supporting Communication Development in Children with Vision and Hearing Impairments

August 15, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Supporting Communication Development in Children with Vision and Hearing Impairments

If you are new to working with young children who have both hearing and vision loss, this resource is for you. It is challenging it to complete meaningful assessments and to use those data to design effective interventions. This resource guide, edited by Dr. Charity Rowland, has wonderfully prAACtical information. In addition to the general content, there is specific information for SLPs, special educators, psychologists, and families. https://www.livebinders.com/media/get/NTEzMDI3OA==  

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AACtual Therapy with Shareka Bentham: Navigating Eye Gaze for Beginning Communicators

May 29, 2014 by - 6 Comments

Today, we welcome back Shareka Bentham, who has told us about her AAC adventures with the Harlem Shake, a field trip, and more. In this post, she shares her experiences in getting little ones started on the intentional use of eye gaze for communication. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I think that most Speech & Language Therapists have those moments in therapy where they’re wondering “Am I doing the right thing here??” I have been feeling that way recently in my practice as I have been nudged into the world of using the head and eyes for communication.  I was (with extensive research) once able to use an eye gaze board quite successfully with an adult patient in the final stages of ALS, but I had never used such techniques in my paediatric clinic. However, I now have a few little ones on my caseload who have severe physical limitations, and are unable to... [Read More...]

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Tracking Early Communication Skills: A PrAACtical Resource

December 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Tracking Early Communication: A PrAACtical Resource

This month, we’ve been talking about ways to support beginning communicators, particularly those at the pre-intentional stage. In this brief post, we share a resource that you can use for graphing data. You can download the packet here or go to the e-Toolbox and look in the Downloads area.  Direct Link to File – http://praacticalaac.org/?wpfb_dl=95

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More Ideas for Supporting Pre-Intentional Communicators

December 28, 2013 by - 4 Comments

This month, we’ve been talking about how to support individuals who are at the earliest levels of communication: the perlocutionary or pre-intentional stage. Although everyone goes through a stage at which behavior is considered communicative only because the partner perceives it that way, some individuals linger there for months or years. What steps can SLPs take in order to help these children and adults have meaningful interactions and build more effective communication skills? Here are some prAACtical thoughts on the matter. Prepare for Skepticism Some people in the client’s life may not believe that there is real potential for communication growth. This is particularly true for learners who are a bit older. When children reach the late elementary school and are still at the pre-intentional stage, there is a tendency to fear that ‘real’ communication is beyond the learner’s grasp. In our view, that is rarely the case. VERY rarely.... [Read More...]

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Helping Pre-Intentional Communicators to Cross the Intentionality Bridge

December 21, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Helping Pre-Intentional Communicators to Cross the Intentionality Bridge

Earlier this month, we talked about the communication journey, from communication that is completely partner-inferred (pre-intentional) to communicating purposefully. The fastest route that we know of for helping clients become more purposeful communicators is a 3-step process. Select a Signal Believe it or not, we can get real intentional communication going with just a single motor act that will function as a signal. The Signal should be something the learner already does, such as moving an arm, tapping the tabletop, vocalizing in a certain way, or rocking. The Signal can also be the absence of movement. One beautiful little girl comes to mind as an example. She paced constantly, enough to wear down a track in the family room carpet – a neat little triangle from the TV to the sofa to her grandma’s recliner. When she wanted something she’d just stop pacing. (Sounds pretty straightforward but it took us... [Read More...]

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Does AAC Benefit Children with Profound and Multiple Disabilities?

December 10, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Does AAC Benefit Children with Profound and Multiple Disabilities?

For most SLPs, it is easy to see how AAC can be beneficial to someone with motor difficulties, like cerebral palsy or ALS. To say that AAC strategies and technologies can be life-changing for these individuals is not an understatement. Similarly, the fields of SLP and special education now recognize that visual supports and AAC options are a standard of care for people affected by autism who have little or no functional speech. Not only does AAC provide a means for functional communication, but it also plays facilitative important role in speech and language development. To be sure, there are significant challenges in the implementation of AAC supports and services with these populations, but the practices themselves are now widely recognized for their positive impact on communication, literacy skills, independence, and behavior. But what about individuals with the most significant learning challenges? In this post, we share an article looking... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Supporting Pre-Intentional Communicators

December 7, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Scene 1 Alex looks at the picture symbol choices placed in front of him and knocks them to the floor. Simone looks distressed while she waits for her lunch and whines as she watches her classmates eating. Jason smiles engagingly and rocks enthusiastically when his favorite aide enters the room. Kyra takes a picture from her PECS book and begins to chew on it. Scene 2 “He can’t even make choices. I’m not even sure what he wants.” “She really doesn’t communicate.” “He doesn’t mean anything by it. He does that all the time.” “She needs hand-over-hand prompting for everything.” Great kids, caring professionals. Ineffective communication. This month, we focus on ways to support children and adults at the earliest stages of communication. It isn’t easy trying to figure out how to provide effective SLP services to individuals who are not yet sending messages intentionally. Communicators at the pre-intentional level are... [Read More...]

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Core Words, Direct Vocabulary Instruction, & The Beginning Communicator

November 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Vocabulary Instruction & the Beginning Communicator

Direct vocabulary instruction is important for all level learners.  The beginning communicator needs to learn core word vocabulary from USING the words and one of the best  ways to learn how to USE core words, is to receive specific direct instruction with many opportunities for active participation. 6 Essential Philosophies &  Strategies Vocabulary instruction involves a systematic TEACHING process.  Add vocabulary or Words as an activity on the daily schedule and then have a mini-schedule for the specific vocabulary instruction activities for that day. Initially, apply an errorless learning paradigm. Then, gradually, add comprehension checks, but do not wait for ‘proof’ of comprehension before adding new words because we often notice that the beginning communicator will demonstrate comprehension during ‘unexpected opportunities- or when you are least expecting it. Once learners become familiar with some of the specific vocabulary activities, then have some choice making opportunities as to which ‘word activities’... [Read More...]

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AAC & Literacy- Setting the Stage

September 14, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC & Literacy: Setting the Stage

Literacy is for all students. As with most things we learn, emergent readers and writers need to be active participants with print across multiple settings and in multiple meaningful experiences. Emergent readers need to be taught to integrate reading and writing with communication and language.  To facilitate this comprehensive integration and understanding, SLP’s and educators can use a variety of authentic research based strategies to help. Create a literacy enriched environment- Literacy skills are promoted through an environment with lots of reading and writing materials. Text based labels and signs will help bring meaning to text in authentic experiences. As you plan activities, include options for writing time/centers, and reading time/centers. Have books accessible to learners. Have lots of book options, but also help students independently turn pages (make it easy with page fluffers), reach books, use writing materials, etc. During interactive activities, give learners a choice of 2 or more books to... [Read More...]

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