Tag Archive: education

Video of the Week: Educating Students with Complex Support Needs in a Standards-Aligned System

October 27, 2013 by - 4 Comments

Educating Students with Complex Support Needs in a Standards-Aligned System

In many schools, educational teams struggle to develop appropriate curriculum-based instruction for students with significant disabilities. In this week’s video, the group from PaTTAN  has collaborated with from University of Kentucky to present a workshop addressing this topic. Enjoy Educating Students with Complex Support Needs in a Standards-Aligned System, presented by Jeannine Brinkley, Sarah Kennedy, Dori Anderson, Debbie Brown, Mariel Zeller, and Sharon Leonard.  

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Strategy of the Month: Classroom Participation

October 19, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: Classroom Participation

How can SLPs support students who use AAC and help them communicate more frequently in the classroom? Collaboration with the teacher is, of course, central to making this work. If you’re paired with an educator who knows, loves, and supports the AAC needs of her students, then you are in for a real treat. Collaborating with someone like that is fun and energizing. But what if your partner is new to AAC or one who doesn’t really know (or care to know) much about it? What if there is a bit of resistance to change or a passive-aggressive style? No match for a committed clinician! Ah. The ART of being an SLP. Take equal measures of creative problem-solving, wonderful pragmatics, and tenacity, and solutions will be found. In really sticky situations, we’ve seen colleagues make breakthroughs on the strength of brownies and iced coffee. You know how to make this... [Read More...]

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Developing Communicative Competence through Academic Content

October 13, 2013 by - 2 Comments

The wonderful team at PaTTAN provides amazingly strong content for school-based professionals and families in support of students with AT needs. Lucky for those of us who live far from Pennsylvania that they videotape some of their trainings and provide them online for the broader world. In this set of videos, Drs. Jacqueline Kearns and Jane Kleinert from the University of Kentucky, share information about helping students with significant communication challenges become better communicators as they learn academic content.      

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How I Do It: Get Your Students Talking with a Versatile AAC Activity by Lauren Enders, Part 1

August 29, 2013 by - 4 Comments

How I Do It: Get Your Students Talking with a Versatile AAC Activity

We are so excited to start off the new school year with a wonderfully prAACtical post by Lauren Enders. Lauren’s “How I Do It” posts have been very popular and this one is no different. Today, she shares ways to incorporate key AAC principles in engaging intervention activities and models that with high school students. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   LEARNING TARGETS (Samples: can be changed to meet student goals) Using core vocabulary, the student will: control the actions of others (beginning with core words like “more”, “stop”, “go”, “again”, and “different”) express his or her opinions through commenting (beginning with core words such as “like”, “don’t like”, “good”, “bad”, and “silly”) TARGET POPULATION: all ages (I have used variations of this activity successfully with students from age 3 through age 21.) TYPE OF AAC: ALL types!!  What’s crucial here is the availability of core vocabulary, not the system used.  Systems used can vary from... [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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PrAACtical Questions: Can Students Take Their AAC Devices Home?

July 2, 2013 by - 13 Comments

PrAACtical Questions: Can Students Take Their AAC Devices Home?

Yes. Although this question was settled definitively in 1991 by US Special Education Programs former director Judith Schrag, there are still some misinformed professionals saying otherwise. In most cases, administrators cannot limit AAC device use to school grounds only. As long as the team agrees that the student needs to be able to communicate throughout the day, then the AAC device can go home in the afternoon, on weekends, on holiday breaks, and during the summer. The “Schrag Letter” (OSEP, November 27, 1991) asserted that “if the IEP team determines that a particular assistive technology item is required for home use in order for a particular child to be provided Free Appropriate Public Education, the technology must be provided to implement the IEP.” There may be an IEP team out there somewhere who feels that a student only needs to communicate during the 6-hour school day, but we haven’t met... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strengthening the Communication Environment

June 28, 2013 by - 1 Comment

How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strenthening the Communication Environment

Marlene Cummings is back to share some thoughts on creating communication-friendly environments. As an AAC consultant to the Oakland Schools, Marlene gets to support AAC implementation in a variety of classrooms with all types of learners. You can read her earlier posts here and here. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 5 Things to Consider in the “Communication Environment” The first thing we want to ask: Is language being represented visibly? We in AAC are often known by our “stuff”.  Because we need to represent language visibly and love technology, we typically have a lot of “stuff”. I, for one, currently have a large storage unit holding 30+ years of “stuff” waiting to be distributed to all my new teams since I am no longer in the classroom. Let’s start by looking around our instructional environment. It is our intention to model the use of language being represented visibly and to provide the vocabulary and opportunities for... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: “I Just Want to Belong” Meaningful Inclusion

June 23, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: “I Just Want to Belong” Meaningful Inclusion

For school-aged children, few things are more painful that being excluded from a group. Today we’re excited to share a series of videos from SET-BC on the topic of social inclusion. Laurie Smith and Lorraine Kamp produced two substantial videos entitled Speaking Out and Joining In. They also have links with shorter videos on some of the strategies. Quick Soapbox: Fellow SLPs, this is important stuff. All the AAC in the world won’t matter if people are isolated or lonely. The communication and social skills it takes to develop and maintain meaningful relationships outside of the family is something that we can address in the goals we write and the therapy we provide. We can do something about this.

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