Tag Archive: literacy

5 Easy Ways to Add Authentic Writing Experiences to Your AAC Therapy

September 10, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Easy Ways to Add Authentic Writing Experiences to Your AAC Therapy

There is no substitute for systematic instruction in reading and writing for building specific skills. AAC learners need high-quality instruction and lots of it. Beyond that, though, there are many ways to infuse literacy practice into the regular routine in therapy and at home. Writing for authentic purposes refers to experiences that reflect the writing activities of people in their regular lives. Authentic writing builds fluency, promotes skill generalization, and helps to build one’s self-concept as a writer. Plus, it’s fun, motivating, and pretty easy to do. Here are some things we try to do to include authentic writing experiences into our AAC therapies. 1. Sign in and out of the therapy session or classroom: Every AAC learner can do this. If the traditional sign-in form then doesn’t cut it, then make up a special sheet that has the client’s name in traceable letters, a name stamp, or placing a... [Read More...]

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10 Tips to Encourage Love of Literacy

September 9, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

10 Tips to Encourage Love of Literacy

Reading and writing are modalities of  language (just like listening & talking). The more we integrate literacy into language learning the more opportunities for prAACtice and learning.  Think of all the ways to prAACtice core words with reading and writing (e.g., “read again”, “write about that”, “that is good”, “He was bad”, “tell me more”, “I know”, etc…). With this in mind, we love encouraging a love of literacy for ALL of our students. Here are some top tips we have learned from the most reluctant reader/writers, to beginning reader/writers, to even the more proficient readers/writers. It is such a great pleasure to watch students begin to love literacy as much as we do. Use high interest books– Find books with super high interest pictures and/or text.  For some learners, it helps to  create your own books with personal interest photos and/or topics. One (very) reluctant reader  we know, loved... [Read More...]

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Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

September 7, 2013 by - 9 Comments

Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

Most of our conversations with SLPs about teaching literacy to individuals with AAC needs revolve around the ‘How’s.” “How can I possibly teach reading and writing? I don’t have enough time with her to teach language and communication!” “How am I going to teach reading to someone who can’t sound out words? Or writing to someone who can barely use a pencil or keyboard?” In general, SLPs WANT to teach literacy skills. They understand the importance of this skill set and how it can level the playing field for people with communication difficulties. They know that reading and writing are inherently linked to speaking and listening. They know that literacy is a powerful key that unlocks many, many doors. And yet, getting from there to the point of actually teaching clients with AAC needs to read and write is not something we do enough of. This month, we’ll look at ways... [Read More...]

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Literacy: Cookies & Core

September 5, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Cookies & Core

It is International Literacy Month.  We always like to celebrate with food. So when we found these cookies at Ikea we just had to get them, use them, and of course eat them.  Here is one of the activities we used with these delicious cookies. Can you guess the goals?   To create a meaningful language experience, we started with the cookies in a closed brown bag (communication temptation) and “like it” spelled out on the table.  Then we took the box of cookies out, spelled “like it”, waited expectantly and after prAACtice with spelling and saying in/out, more prAACtice and Aided Language Input, the student used the cookies to add “out” So the cookies were taken out.  We had a yummy snack. Then it was time for recess but before cleaning up, the student does this:  Apparently he wanted to go on the swing first.   Note:  Other visual supports/AAC... [Read More...]

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Literacy for ALL: A Series of Videos by Dr. Caroline Musselwhite

September 1, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week- Literacy for All

Dr. Caroline Musselwhite addresses the topic of overall good literacy instruction.  She presents information about how to teach students with significant disabilities using fairly common literacy instruction strategies. There are  11 short video posts to help you get started.  She discusses the issues of AAC and suggests strategies that are easy to implement and highly effective.  Keep Calm and Watch On…  

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Friday Fun: 8 AAC Learning Activities that are Fast & Free

July 26, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Friday Fun: 8 AAC Learning Activities that are fast and free

Get ready to increase your AAC knowledge in a fun and fast way. Read, watch, share, & learn: Learn about Ablenet’s updated AAC app:  Sounding Board- Bigger and Better. Read  past AAC Newsletters:  Augmentative Communication, Augmentative Communication News (ACN). Check out Talk About Food app and enter to win it. Learn about Literacy and AAC by checking out Jane Farrall’s blog or 101 Ideas for Literacy & AAC. Watch a recorded Ablenet webinar on a variety of PrAACtical AAC topics presented by AAC leaders. Read Think Inclusive’s–  7 Ways to Use a Sequential Message AAC Device in the Inclusive (or any ) Classroom Join an active AAC friendly facebook group such as Speak For Yourself, Raising and Teaching Individuals with Severe Disabilities, Proloquo2go Professionals, or any other you know of. Learn about AAC (and other) strategies to help prevent wandering:  Big Red Safety Tool Kit, Social Stories  

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Working with Worksheets

July 15, 2013 by - 5 Comments

Working with Worksheets

We’re not big fans of worksheets. In fact (true confession!), many years ago we actually hid a notebook full of them from a colleague who seemed to think they should play a prominent role in aphasia therapy. However, we concede that they are sometimes useful in limited quantities (‘sometimes’ being the operative word). More importantly, if teachers use them, we want our kids to be able to participate. Those who have difficulty with fine motor skills need alternate ways to manage worksheets so that  they can be as independent as possible. Summer seems like a good time to learn a few new things that will come in handy once school resumes. If you’re looking for ways to make worksheets accessible on a shoestring, check out these resources. This presentation from Lynda Hartmann  gives a good overview of accessible worksheets and provides information on a number of tools that you can use.... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically Ready to Read

July 9, 2013 by - 2 Comments

PrAActically Ready to Read

It’s summer and hot where we live (really hot!), humid (really humid)!. This weather makes it a good time for quiet, peaceful activities. Reading is high on our list. No pressure, enjoyable reading. We want ALL learners to enjoy reading. From simple single message voice output devices/apps to high-tech core language based SGDs and everywhere in between, there are lots of prAACtical opportunities for communication building, literacy learning, and just plain fun through reading. Interactive reading, reading aloud to someone, or reading to yourself can all be done in air-conditioned homes or libraries or by the pool or beach where you can cool down with a quick swim. Here are some great resources for adapted books, communication boards to go with books, and visual supports to help with reading.  Find a good book, stay cool, and enjoy: New York City Department of Education: Adapted Books  Baltimore City Schools- Book Specific Communication... [Read More...]

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Happy April! Celebrate Autism Acceptance Month and National Poetry Writing Month!

April 1, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Happy APril- Celebrate Autism Acceptance & Poetry Month

There are a lot of celebrations this month. It is officially Autism Awareness Month.  A new name for this that has popped up & taken hold is Autism Acceptance Month. Awareness and/or  Acceptance seems to mean different things to different people but hopefully the intent is similar. We hope that this month is filled with great ideas to support ALL people with autism and their families. We hope that  educators, clinicians, and whole communities are inclusive, that they presume competence, and that they support communication and language using best prAACtice information and research. We do know that there is more to hope for than just this, like better employment outcomes, more appropriate accommodations, and more individualized support but if focus stays on the former, it seems then that the latter would improve. Plus we have more control (if there is such a thing) on facilitating inclusivity, presuming competence, and of course... [Read More...]

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