Tag Archive: families

Simple Start: Visual Supports for Places We Go

November 9, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Simple Start: Visual Support for Places We Go

No matter where they work, SLPs supporting people who use AAC generally do what they can to improve communication across environments. In an earlier Simple Start post, we talked about using photos of places within a school to support language comprehension. By showing a picture of the cafeteria or gym as we say those words, we can help both students with language processing difficulties and those with behavior regulation issues. — In this post, we extend the same concept to travels in and around the community. Here are directions for making visual supports that can be used with students who have community-based instruction or by families as they go about their weekly errands and routines. Simple Start: Visual Support for Places in the Community Take photo of locations in the community that the AAC user is likely to visit. Insert them into a document and add labels for each one... [Read More...]

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Creative Uses of the iPod for Students Who Use AAC

October 14, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Creative Uses of the iPod for Students Who Use AAC

Just when we think we’ve ‘seen it all,’ along comes another set of ideas for how to use technology to support kids with limited communication skills. In this week’s video, we peek in at what’s going on at the Special School District of Saint Louis County. Hats off to this team of creative professionals for getting the most out of their iPods! We love how their ideas save time for the teacher, enhance student learning, and extend communication to the home. Looks like a win-win-win situation for the classroom, family, and student.

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Communicating About Communicating

September 3, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Communicating about Communicating

Last week I was talking to a bright, young professional who is starting her second year as a school-based SLP. She has a caseload of 60+ students, including a class of students who have significant communication impairments. When the conversation turned to building a support system for her students who use AAC, we talked about strategies for keeping all of the stakeholders in the loop.  Here are some of the the things we touched on.

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Beyond ‘Good’ and ‘Nothing’

August 27, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Beyond 'Good' and 'Nothing'

  “How was school?” (Good) “What did you do?” (Nothing) This scenario plays out in many cars and kitchens in the after school hours and it can be hard to know who is more frustrated: the kids for being asked or the parents for not getting satisfactory answers. And still, we repeat the process day after day. Of course, we want to know the fine details of what happened and how our children felt, but in some cases, we’d settle for ANY school-related conversation at all. I’ll be the first to admit that it took me way too long to get the hang of how to get information about my children’s school days, and it seemed like just when I did, pow! They were pre-teens and then teenagers. New rule book. Here are some ‘lessons learned’ along the way about those afterschool conversations and some suggestions for parents of the kids... [Read More...]

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While We’re Waiting & the ‘Aha Moment’

August 22, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

While We’re Waiting & the ‘Aha Moment’

We tried to be patient. We really did. We tried to wait until we had the new venue for our site all figured out and ready to go, but the truth is, we missed blogging and hated the thought of going a few more weeks without being able to post. So we decided to reactivate our old site for the time being and post occasionally to this site. Pardon our dorky look, please. In case you missed these on Facebook, here are are a couple of things we shared in the past few weeks: Lemonade: http://screencast.com/t/xaFcbxySW Building Classroom Participation: http://www.screencast.com/users/CZee/folders/Jing/media/15818f72-c49f-4da6-a12d-e52250794234 PrAACtical Alert: Online Trainings: http://bit.ly/NZ9HYT COCOA: http://www.edutecher.net/educlipper/index.php?shareImgid=2478 AAC Rating Scales: http://www.edutecher.net/educlipper/index.php?shareImgid=2499 and http://bit.ly/Ocgte5 And now onto something new… Last week, I had the chance to talk with Karyn, a mom whose adorable daughter with significant vision impairment and multiple disabilities is entering school for the first time. As she helped... [Read More...]

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5 Sites for Professionals who are Supporting Military Families with Special Needs Children

May 27, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Sites for Professionals who are Supporting Military Families with Special Needs Children

— Being in the military? That’s some tough stuff. Having a child with AAC needs? Lots of challenges there, as we all know. – Both? Hard to imagine — As professionals, few of us know much about the unique pressures and demands on military families of children with special needs. In this post, we highlight some resources that SLPs, educators, and others can use to educate ourselves and provide better supports to these families. – 1. U.S. Department of Defense Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools (DDESS) Special Education Information and information on the The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children 2. Military Homefront pages on Special Education and Assistive Technology with link to TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) 3. Military Child Education Coalition Special Education Leadership Institute (SELI) 4. STOMP: Specialized Training for Military Parents, a project dedicated to training and support of families who have a... [Read More...]

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5 Charitable Programs that Support Funding for Communication through Mobile Devices

May 23, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Charitable Programs that Support Funding for Communication through Mobile Devices

– For some people with significant communication difficulties, mobile devices and AAC apps play an important role. When selected after a process of careful evaluation, they can be incredibly useful in building communication, literacy, self-regulation, and other important skills. Here are links to organizations that provide support to families seeking mobile devices and communication apps for their children. – 1. The iTaalk Autism Foundation 2. Babies with iPads 3. Apps for Children with Special Needs 4. Different Needz Foundation 5. Gift a Voice Program from Different Iz Good™: iPhones only –

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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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The Precious Power of Play

April 12, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

The Precious Power of Play

The Chicago P.L.A.Y. Project is on a mission to empower parents to help their children build language through play. We love the joyful nature of their mission. – Of course, the clinical educators in us see huge potential for adding visual supports to enhance the language learning, but this is an amazing way to build good interaction and language opportunities. – Enjoy!    

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Getting Here From There

February 15, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Getting Here From There

We wanted to take a breather from all the busyness to reflect on the year and to offer up some words of appreciation. For us, 2011 started with our version of a retreat: a long walk in the sun, a half day of venting our frustrations and a half day of planning new projects interspersed with lunch at the beach. (There might have been a bottle of wine in there somewhere, too.) We’d both been feeling more than a bit discouraged that the quality of AAC services is still so spotty. There are some fantastic SLPs and teachers, of course, but not enough to go around. The ‘good ones’ are too busy. And the not-so-good ones were doing too much damage. It seemed to us that too many folks with significant communication challenges weren’t getting what they needed and that stressed us out to no end. Just when we had calmed down, we... [Read More...]

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