Tag Archive: extensions

Building Sentence Length: Say it Spontaneously

June 9, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Building Sentence Length Say it Spontaneously

As beginning communicators start using single symbols to communicate, the next step immediately becomes to expand sentence length to two words, then three words, then more. Helping learners to use longer sentences spontaneously is the main goal. Teaching spontaneous use of longer sentences helps assure that those sentences can be used with many communication partners and in many contexts.   A great facilitator strategy for helping to build sentences is ‘add a word’ or expansions and extensions. This was mentioned in last week’s post: Helping Beginning Communicators Expand Their Sentence Length but is further delineated below. What is it? ‘Add a word’ strategy is more formally called expansions and extensions.  Expansions typically refer to adding a word with new conceptual knowledge while extensions add a word with new grammatical information. Expansions and extensions are a form of modeling and can be done both on a communication display as well as verbally. This... [Read More...]

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Building Communication Skills During Storybook Reading

March 17, 2014 by - 6 Comments

In this post, we continue to explore strategies for advancing the literacy experiences of people who use AAC. Today, we’ll look at a strategy used in the research of Drs. Cathy Binger and Jennifer Kent-Walsh. What is a little different about this strategy is that it uses literacy experiences, specifically storybook reading, to build communication skills. One component of their research focuses on an interactive reading strategy called RAAP: Read, Ask, Answer, Prompt. There is lots to love about this approach, but one of our favorite things is that is makes heavy use of aided language input, an intervention strategy that is critical for partners of beginning communicators to use. You can read more about aided language input and see videos here. It also gets partners using language expansions and extensions, an intervention strategy that is effective for communicators at many levels of proficiency.  Finally, we appreciate the frequent use of... [Read More...]

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More Thoughts about Reinforcement in AAC Therapy

February 17, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

More Thoughts about Reinforcement in AAC Therapy

When we’re teaching AAC, our preferred means of responding to learners is with natural consequences, expansions, extensions, and verbal encouragement. Here are some of our prAACtical thoughts. Natural Consequences Nothing says ‘power’ like having someone respond based on what you just said. SLPs are quite familiar with this concept and use this regularly to provide ‘more’ tickles, crackers, and music. When we work with beginning communicators, we’re all about providing quick access to whatever the AAC learner requests. But we tend to lose sight of the need for natural consequences when working with learners on higher level language skills. True, it is more difficult to think of the natural consequence when we’re working on morphology, syntax, and semantics, but the principle is the same: Learning is enhanced when our responses are driven by the message that our client just produced.  We’re working with Antonio to reduce ambiguity in his messages.... [Read More...]

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