Across the world, therapists, teachers, and parents are getting ready for AAC lessons or therapy sessions. Robust AAC systems? Check! Goals that matter? Check! Effective intervention strategies? Check! Let’s put them all together with some engaging activities that won’t break the bank in terms of materials. Here are some suggestions for tried-and-true activities. Language Experience Surveys: Looking for a fun activity that gives your AAC learner an opportunity to prAACtical his/her skills with a variety of communication partners? Language experience surveys are a great tool for that not just because they are a great way to build generalization in a way that kids really love, but also because it helps the communication partners have supported conversations with AAC users. This helps them get comfortable in interacting with our AAC learners which, in turn, increases the chances that they will want to interact with these students in the future. This is... [Read More...]
Tag Archive: implementation ideas
Once AAC systems are in place, therapists, teachers, and parents often turn their focus on how to help learners use those to express themselves and to better understand their world. Today, we once again turn to Gail Van Tatenhove, an AAC master clinician, for teaching tips and ideas for resources and materials. This video is part of the Power AAC series from PaTTAN. Many thanks to Gail and PaTTAN for making this available. You can see other posts from the series here.
Filed under: Video of the Week
Today we learn from a veteran AAC SLP, Lindsey Paden Cargill, who has been working in the field of SLP for 12 years and is passionate about service provision and research in the area of AAC for individuals with developmental disabilities. In addition to her caseload, she is also the Therapy Manager at a private therapy and education center in Columbus, Ohio called Bridgeway Academy. Lindsey is currently collaborating with The Ohio State University on several AAC-related research studies including an immersive AAC classroom and a parent-training course. AAC Intervention Strategies for Beginning Communicators: Presume Competence and Be the Fun In the last ten years providing energetic, creative and data-driven AAC language therapy has become my passion… or maybe obsession. My mission statement is for anyone interacting with a new AAC user to “presume competence and be the fun.” To accomplish my goals I have to prioritize several things: providing a... [Read More...]
“But I don’t have just one student who needs AAC in my class – I have a bunch! How can I work AAC teaching into an already hectic day?” Teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski are back with real-world suggestions for situations like these. Last year, they introduced us to Big Core, gave us tips for implementing it in the classroom, and explained how they integrate it into shared reading lessons and predictable chart writing activities. Today, they’re back with prAACtical information on how they provide explicit instruction on core vocabulary words. Amy and Lauren are public school teachers in Michigan who began teaching in resource rooms and moved to self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms in 2009. There was not much talk about core language when they started teaching and even less about incorporating into classroom lessons. AAC devices have changed a bit over the years, too. Initially, they worked with a 32-location core board on... [Read More...]
“He knows what to do. He just doesn’t do it.” “He’s prompt-dependent. How can I get him to use AAC on his own?” “I love his strong-willed nature, but it works against him sometimes. He doesn’t initiate.” If any of these remarks sound familiar, it may be time to think about alternative approaches to build independent communication. Here are a few things to try with AAC users who’ve learned to wait for support before communicating. Exaggerate the pause time: Many of our AAC learners need at least 5 seconds of pause time after a communication opportunity presents itself. This helps them process the experience, organize their thoughts, decide on a response, and then begin to execute that response. Sometimes, though, we work with people who’ve learned that if they just wait, the communication partner will start to help (whether or not they need it). We can sometimes nudge the learner... [Read More...]
Looking to infuse additional activities to support the reading and writing development of the AAC learners with whom you work? Today, we’re revisiting some popular posts with helpful ideas and resources. Robust Literacy Instruction for People Who Use AAC A PrAACtical Literacy Activity for Beginning Communicators Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learner Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies Literacy for All: A Series of Videos by Dr. Caroline Musselwhite Hope you find some useful tips and suggestions.
We are pleased to have a return visit from special educators Lauren Pawlowski and Amy Devin with ideas for supporting AAC learners in the classroom. Amy and Lauren, who work in the public school system in Michigan, taught in resource rooms for years and have been teaching in self‐contained ASD elementary classrooms since 2009. At that time, there were few classrooms who were integrating core language instruction, but they didn’t let that stop them. Currently, they use manual communication boards, large instructional core boards, and individual AAC devices with their students. They are passionate literacy teachers and, in today’s post, tell us about their approach to shared reading lessons. Their video is chock full of tips to help you make these lessons successful. Enjoy! Shared Reading: It’s Not What They Know, It’s What They THINK! Happy Fall AAC users and facilitators! This month we would like to share some of our tips for... [Read More...]
Most classrooms that include children with the most significant disabilities are comfortable with low tech AT and use it frequently throughout the day. In today’s video, AT consultant Kelly Fonner, discusses strategies for maximizing the use of those technologies and progressing to more advanced communicative options. A frequent presenter at international, national, and state conferences, Kelly shares ideas for taking what already works in these classrooms and moving to the next level. As always, she provides clear explanations, rationales, and the all-important ‘how-to’ for implementing additional strategies and technologies. Many thanks to Kelly and AbleNet University for making this video available. Direct Link to Video: https://www.ablenetinc.com/customer/account/login?referer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYWJsZW5ldGluYy5jb20vcmVzb3VyY2VzL3JlY29yZGVkX3dlYmluYXJzP3M9a2VsbHkrZm9ubmVyJnNvcnQ9JnBvc3RfdHlwZT1yZWNvcmRlZF93ZWJpbmFycw
Filed under: Video of the Week
The power of core vocabulary is only realized when AAC is being utilized throughout the day. A key benefit of having core words on an AAC system is that they apply to any situation, in any location, with any communication partners. But unless we’re actually teaching and using the AAC under those conditions, we haven’t really tapped into the power that they offer. It would be like upgrading to a powerful ‘gamer’ laptop, then just using it to check email. Core vocabulary is a powerful concept, but it only becomes a powerful tool when it gets used throughout the day by anyone who speaks to the learner. It may take some time to get there, but it’s critical that we keep striving for this. Otherwise, we’re checking email on a super-charged computer. While powerful, core words can’t do everything. AAC learners also need words that reflect their own lives and... [Read More...]
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
Tagged With: implementation ideas
Teaching AAC learners to expand their vocabularies beyond a basic set of core words is an important goal to target in language development, and a topic that we’ve written a lot about in this space. For the student to be successful, SLPs need to think of vocabulary instruction as an ongoing process that has a clear 3-part structure. Introduction: Word is used in context, defined, and produced by the learner. Students assess their own knowledge of the word. Explicit Instruction: Activities are created to help the student really understand what the word means and how to use it. Students begin using it throughout the session. Continued Practice: We continue to use these words and help the student use the target words in the session. Engaging activities, often with technology, are used to help our learners deepen their understanding of the word. This will be accomplished over multiple sessions. In this... [Read More...]
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking