Tag Archive: Communication Matrix

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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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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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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