Tag Archive: collaboration

AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues – PrAACtical Tool #2

August 27, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues - PrAACtical Tool #2

Even when everyone has good intentions, AAC implementation doesn’t happen overnight. Strengthening our resolve to learn the student’s AAC system, model it as we speak to them, provide instruction, and give ample opportunities for practice takes commitment and leadership. In the past, we’ve talked about strategies to get the team onboard with skills like aided language input, using no-tech communication boards to build language, and shared training materials. In this series, we’re sharing some printables to recognize the efforts of our team members, and keep them energized to keep going. Here is the second set of tags/bookmarks to share with your teams. You can download them here. If you missed the first set, you can get those here.

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How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

November 25, 2014 by - 3 Comments

How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Natoci Florka last month when I visited Michigan and am delighted that she was willing to introduce us to the Shared Community of Practice from the team at The Communication Matrix. Karen is an SLP who has served students aged 3-26 with various physical, sensory and intellectual challenges at Wing Lake Developmental Center (Detroit area) since 2001. She is a part time lecturer at Wayne State University where she teaches a course entitled “Communication Acquisition and Educational Interventions for Students with Moderate to Severe Impairments.” She is part of the Communication Matrix Charter group. Click on the image below to learn more. The Communication Matrix is growing into a Shared Community of Practice!  I remember the first few weeks in my new job at a wonderful, magical, school for children with complex communication needs. It was time for my first evaluation. These amazing students were challenging!  They seemed... [Read More...]

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Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

August 6, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

Today, we’ll take a look at a collaborative effort by researchers at University College London (Department of Developmental Science), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (Neurodisability Service), and Barnsley Hospital. These researchers are investigating the eye gaze patterns of children with cerebral palsy who have little or no functional speech. Could tracking eye movements be a useful way to assess language skills? This is a line of research we will be watching. Direct Link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/gaze

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5 Things to Love About the SETT Framework

September 6, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Things to Love About the SETT Framework

The SETT Framework by Dr. Joy Zabala (Director of Technical Assistance at CAST) is a widely used approach for collaborative decision-making in AT. It’s a tool we love, teach about, and use, but many SLPs aren’t that familiar with it. Here are some of the reasons we think it deserves your consideration. 1. It gives everyone a common focus. We all look at the student from our own perspective and sometimes fail to think about how our priorities intersect with those of other team members. The SETT Framework helps us to all look at the same thing at the same time. 2. Defensive, who me? When you focus on a framework or process, people are less likely to become defensive when we’re trying to make things better for the student. 3. It becomes a way of thinking. Teams that are in the habit of using the SETT Framework are generally... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Partnerships: AAC and Academics

August 17, 2013 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Partnerships: AAC and Academics

Like many of you, we are always racking our brains trying to help students who use AAC be successful academically. Because we serve these students in a clinical setting, we could easily pass on the opportunity to align our AAC goals with academic standards but what would be the fun in that? Here are some things we try to think about with school-aged kids who have AAC needs. SLP to SLP If it takes a village to raise a child, how many people does it take to help a kids with AAC needs to develop communicative competence and succeed academically? It boggles the mind. As SLPs, message is this: We have to work together. Many kids who use AAC have private therapies in addition to their school services, and yet, we rarely connect. We have to find a way to do a better job at this so that kids with... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Back to School with AAC

August 3, 2013 by - 4 Comments

Back to School with AAC

Here in the US, August is Back-to-School month. Throughout this month, we’ll try to post ideas and resources to help make the transition back to school a smooth and successful one. One of the most important things for students who use AAC is having their SLPs, teachers, and families on the same page. They each have a different but very intense relationship with the student’s AAC system. Here are some prAACtical thoughts on getting everyone on the same page. 1.  Develop a communication profile of the student: In the initial weeks, try to get a baseline of how the student is communicating at the start of the year. For beginning communicators, we track things like their communicative intents (WHY they are communicating), modalities (HOW they are communicating), and the frequency of their communication. We’ve written about one of our favorite tools for this, the Communication Matrix. 2. Share what you know:... [Read More...]

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Using Visual Supports to Bring Music Alive with Marlene Sotelo

April 19, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Using Visuals to Bring Music Alive

When I first met our guest blogger almost 20 years ago, she was using more visual supports in her music therapy sessions with kids who had ASD than most SLPs were using in their language therapy.  Marlene Sotelo has worn many hats in her professional life, but her passion for helping people with ASD communicate more effectively seems to have permeated all of them. In this post, she discusses some of the ways she uses visual supports to help make music therapy effective. Music is a powerful force that transcends time, cultures, and languages. It can transport you to the past, and bring you hope and excitement for the future. In addition, music can be an effective tool in teaching children with varying abilities. The predictability, rhythmic patterns, and repetitive nature of the structure music lends itself to the development of language, cognitive skills, and motor skills, especially for individuals... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Goals That Matter

October 11, 2012 by - 6 Comments

PrAACtical Goals That Matter

Like some of you, we often get asked “The Question.” People sometimes ask us to give them a  recommendation about what AAC device or app is best for a particular individual. When the question comes from a parent or therapist whom we don’t know, it’s understandable. But when it is from a clinician we’ve taught, (who should know better), it’s a bit baffling. Obviously, we’d never make that kind of recommendation without having done an evaluation, or at least reviewing someone else’s assessment. We dread “The Question.” On the other hand, there are a lot of things that we wish people would ask that relate to how to help the communicator develop strong skills. This post relates to to one of those type of questions. “What should I work on?” “What kinds of AAC goals should we write?”  We like those kinds of questions and our answers generally have one... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Suggestions: 10 Ways To Help Families Make Informed Decisions About AAC

May 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Suggestions: 10 Ways To Help Families Make Informed Decisions About AAC

– In one of my AAC classes, we’ve been talking about how to help families make informed decisions. To do that, they need to have solid information presented clearly, in digestible bites from a trusted source. When we don’t have that information, it is easy to fall prey to fads and/or adopt a herd mentality and do what everyone else is doing. Here are some suggestions for supporting families through the AAC decisions they will need to make. – 1. Have direct conversations about the pros and cons of the available options. For example, if the family expressed interest in an iPad with AAC apps over a full fledged SGD, then we’d have to be prepared to reiterate the merits and drawbacks of each. 2. Share a process for making AAC decisions rather than attempting to take the decision out of their hands. For example, you may want to encourage... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Questions: How Can I Get AAC Devices for My Evaluations?

April 4, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Questions: How Can I Get AAC Devices for My Evaluations?

PrAACtical Questions is an occasional series in which we address concerns that our graduate students and others have posed to us about the real world challenges of implementing AAC. This post focuses on AAC evaluations. – The Question: I don’t have many SGDs in my school/clinic. How can I evaluate someone for AAC? — The Situation: A clinician with a good background in using the feature match process for AAC evaluations needs to evaluate a student with severe speech difficulties. Her center has a few AAC devices that she can use for this evaluation but there are a few others that she doesn’t have which are appropriate to consider. There isn’t much chance that she will be given approval to purchase those. How can we get the student an appropriate AAC evaluation? Some Ideas: This is a fairly common problem since few practicing SLPs have access to all of the SGDs, iDevices, apps, and... [Read More...]

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