Tag Archive: literacy

As They Grow: Books for Beginning Readers of Any Age

March 12, 2015 by - 4 Comments

As They Grow: Books for Beginning Readers of Any Age

Like many of you, I’m always on the hunt for ways to support beginning communicators who are also learning to read. As SLPs, we have a huge opportunity to advocate for and provide good literacy learning opportunities for individuals with AAC needs. For learners past the preschool age, it can be challenging to find material that engages them and yet respects the fact that they are no longer young children. Last month, we share a handout from a wonderful ATIA presentation that Drs. Hanser and Musselwhite did on this topic (you can see that post here). Today, I’m sharing the thoughts of Erin Sheldon, whose work in inclusive education for students with significant disabilities and support of families with Angelman Syndrome (AS) is known to many of you. Erin’s work is directly informed by her daughter Maggie, who has AS and is fully included in her general education classroom. A... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: In My Pot of Gold

March 10, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtically Reading with Karen Natoci: In My Pot of Gold

It’s green where we live, but even our friends who’ve been battling snow and ice for far too long (!) have been seeing bits of color…IF you count the rainbows and gold-filled pots in their therapy rooms, offices, and classrooms. St. Patrick’s Day can be a fun, playful holiday to celebrate, and there are plenty of thematic materials around to build language and literacy skills. For some learners, acquiring holiday-related vocabulary. like shamrock and leprachaun, makes sense. But for most of the AAC learners with whom we work, the priorities are elsewhere. That’s one reason that I’m delighted to share Karen Natoci’s PrAACtically Reading for March. As always, Karen is incredibly generous in sharing both information and materials (such as her lesson plan and PowerPoint story). What I love most about her post, though, is that it honors the excitement and traditions of the holiday while keeping focused on the goal of building core... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically Reading: Writing to Read with Karen Natoci

February 17, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtically Reading : Writing to Read with Karen Natoci

We are so pleased to have SLP Karen Natoci back with the second edition of PrAACtically Reading. You can see her first post here. I love that this lesson focuses on older students, providing an age respectful activity (who else loves Mad Libs?!) and a prAACtical way for students with lower verbal skills to develop their reading abilities. Writing to Read: Mad Lib, Core Words, and Literacy Instruction Core Vocabulary focus: like, dislike, uh-oh, again Sometimes it is fun to just write our own BIG BOOK and this month, we decided to do that by using a simplified “mad libs” format. Honestly, I’m not sure who had more fun, the teachers, the student authors or myself!  I was inspired by the work of Gretchen Hanser.  I attended her workshop on writing at Oakland Schools (MI) in the fall of 2013.  She showed us that all students develop writing and experience... [Read More...]

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AAC Goes to Summer Camp

February 12, 2015 by - 4 Comments

AAC Goes to Summer Camp

Those of you who are still digging your way out of the most recent snowstorm may not believe it, but it’s almost time to make plans for summer. There are quite a few AAC camps, some that are quite well established and others that have been running for only a few years (see our AAC Camp Pinterest board here). In this post, we hear about one of them from Tina Moreno, an SLP and mom of Mateo, who uses PicturePower 100 on the Maestro to communicate, maintain friendships with his teammates on the cross country team, advocate for himself, reveal his wicked sense of humor, and even sing the National Anthem for his high school’s basketball games. Tina blogs at Voices4All.  With the help of  Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver, she and her friend Gina Cunningham created Camp ALEC together in memory of Gina’s son Alec, who never gave up, and... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Using an Alphabet FlipBook for Writing

September 14, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Like many of you, we strive to give access to the alphabet to our prAACtical friends who are still developing their writing skills. It can get a little tricky when the person has significant motor impairments, though. If you’ve ever thought about introducing an alphabet flipbook with partner-assisted scanning, this is a video you might want to see. Thanks to the wonderful clinicians at Thames Valley Children’s Centre for this helpful video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhLWDPa3vFY

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Video of the Week: Writing Instruction for Students with Angelman Syndrome

July 6, 2014 by - 1 Comment

Today we return to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation and learn more about how to teach writing to children with Angelman Syndrome. Erin Sheldon shares prAACtical information that applies to MANY children with signficant communication challenges. This is a great video for us SLPs, but also one to share with families. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iInuYeNraEU&feature=youtu.be

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PrAACtically Reading with Brown Bear

June 26, 2014 by - 6 Comments

PrAACtically Reading with Brown Bear

There are so many wonderful things about reading with kids, and practicing AAC is one of them. Every month, we’ll try to pick a book and provide some prAACtical suggestions for how to read it and sneak in some opportunities for receptive and expressive AAC use. You can make book-specific screens, overlays, or boards, but we favor a more powerful approach: use core vocabulary as your base and supplement with words specific to that book. Need some core language displays? There are many floating around, but here’s a link to ours if you need some more. We thought we’d start off this series with a book that is familiar to most, if not all, of you. Pull it off your shelf, find your prAACtical pal, grab that core language board, get to a cozy spot, and let’s get started. PrAACtically Reading with Brown Bear Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: The Development of Literacy Skills by Individuals with Angelman Syndrome

June 15, 2014 by - 3 Comments

Video of the Week: The Development of Literacy Skills in Individuals with Angelman Syndrome

We’re so pleased to be able to share this terrific webinar presented by Erin Sheldon and hosted by the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. This presentation is chock full of prAACtical ideas for assessment and skill-building. Erin discusses a free literacy assessment tool, The Bridge, from the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies that you might want to download and keep handy as you watch the presentation. (We linked to it in a previous post and you can access it here.) Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFgJLhYCPMo&feature=youtu.be  

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Five Books Featuring Children Who Use AAC

June 5, 2014 by - 10 Comments

Five Books Featuring Children Who Use AAC

Anyone else thinking of a little summer reading? We were looking for books featuring children who use AAC the other day and thought others might also be interested in this topic. The Boy Who Saw Too Much (Part of  the Romeo Riley Private Detective Series) by April Whitt How Katie Got a Voice (And A Cool New Nickname) by Pat Mervine On Being Sarah by Elizabeth Helfman Sara’s Surprise by Nan Holcomb YOURS! Make your own story with digital storytelling apps like My Story – Book Maker  What are your favorite books that show children using AAC?

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Video of the Week: Franz Gets Ready to Read

June 1, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Franz Gets Ready to Read

This video by occupational therapist Paul Andres is as endearing as it is informative. Check out Franz as he gets ready to read a book. This is a great video to share with families and other team members who may be unfamiliar with alternative ways of book reading. Direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfu8sQH6428

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