Tag Archive: parents

“My Students Don’t Have Much AAC Support at Home”

February 11, 2019 by - 3 Comments

“My Students Don’t Have Much AAC Support at Home”

At a conference last month, I had some wonderful interactions with teachers and SLPs who are incredibly dedicated to helping their students with AAC needs become more proficient communicators. A number of common threads emerged through comments like these. “It’s really frustrating! My student would make SO much more progress if there was carryover at home.” “I keep telling my student’s parents this but they don’t really follow through.” “I’ve told them about the research and shared a lot of web links with them, but nothing seems to change. My student’s family still doesn’t really use his AAC at home.” “The family tells me that they are modeling AAC, but when I look at the ‘history’ it shows that not much AAC is happening outside of school hours.” In person and through social media, professionals have shared their stories and expressed that they are sometimes surprised and puzzled but mostly disappointed... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with ‘Bear Wants More’

September 8, 2016 by - 1 Comment

PrAACtical AT Recipes for Success: Shared Reading with 'Bear Wants More'

Like many AAC professionals, SLP Sara Barnhill and the AT Team at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, love to help families use activities like storybook reading to build language skills. They’ve been incredibly generous in sharing resources from their AT Recipes for Success project (you can view previous posts here). As a member of the AT Core team, Sara is involved in AAC evaluations and therapy in the hospital’s clinics, out-patient program and Transitional Care Unit. CHoR’s AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia. The program provides AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of four SLPs, two OTs, one PT, and one Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR therapy... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for AAC Learners: AT Recipes for Success – Sensorimotor Activities

September 1, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Supports for AAC Learners: AT Recipes for Success - Sensorimotor Activities

It’s time to resume our PrAACtical Supports series, highlighting handout materials developed by Sara Barnhill and the AT team at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). Sara is an SLP who has has worked at CHoR for six+ years.  She is a member of the Assistive Technology Core team and VCU’s Center for Craniofacial Care team.  Her caseload includes patients in clinics, outpatient therapy, and on the Transitional Care Unit which provides pediatric long-term care.  The CHoR AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia, providing AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of 4 SLPs, 2 OTs, a PT, and a Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR therapy centers... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 4

July 28, 2016 by - 2 Comments

PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 4

Thanks to all of you who have reached out with appreciation for Sara Barnhill’s guest series entitled PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner. Sara and her colleagues at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) are generously sharing some of the resources they created to help families implement AAC at home. Through CHoR’s AT Program, one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia, a series of parent-friendly handouts were created to help families in Central Virginia facilitate core vocabulary learning by their young children. In the final post, we get to play with dolls and beach balls. You can get the link to download these parent handouts at the end of the post. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Let’s Play with Core! Recipes for Success Abandonment of AAC systems is a recognized problem in the field of AT.  Therapists, teachers, and caregivers alike often feel uncomfortable and intimidated by AAC.  We can all acknowledge that “it takes a village,” but... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 3

July 21, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner: Recipes for Success, Part 3

Looking for resources so you can help families get comfortable with implementing AAC at home? SLP Sara Barnhill has you covered! In the third installment of the PrAACtical Supports for the Young AAC Learner, she generously shares some parent handouts created along with her colleagues at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). As a member of the Assistive Technology (AT) Core team, she is involved in AAC evaluations and therapy in the hospital’s clinics, out-patient program and Transitional Care Unit. CHoR’s AT Program is one of few comprehensive AT programs in Central Virginia. The program provides AT evaluations, equipment and training to people of all ages, enabling children and adults with disabilities to function more independently.  CHoR’s AT team consists of four SLPs, two OTs, one PT, and one Therapy Practice Assistant.  In addition to completing transdiciplinary evaluations and treatments, CHoR’s AT team is responsible for supporting staff and sharing AT information to five CHoR... [Read More...]

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Five Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators

September 10, 2014 by - 4 Comments

Five Facebook Groups for Families of Beginning Communicators

What’s better than parents and professionals who are knowledgeable about beginning to use AAC with children? Connecting with them on Facebook. Here are some of the most active AAC-related groups out there. 1. Speak for Yourself Users Group (Despite it’s name, this one is not limited to families/professionals who use SFY.) 2. AAC: Alternative Awesome Communicators 3. Angelman, Literacy, and Education (Despite the name, the content is very applicable to a broad range of developmental disabilities.) 4. Apraxia-Kids (not AAC-specific but lots of good information) 5. PrAACtical AAC (Okay, we’re biased!)  

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AAC Therapy: Putting Parents in Charge

July 7, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Therapy: Putting Parents in Charge

In this week’s video, we share the thoughts of Australian SLP Gail Bennell. In this video, Gail provides some interesting perspectives on helping families take charge of the AAC and other therapies in which their children participate. Gail offers professional online support to parents of nonverbal children and is on a mission to help nonverbal children everywhere learn how to communicate so they can reach their full potential. You can find her handouts and get more information at Gail’s website, www.RaisingNonverbalChildren.com . –  

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Beyond Good Intentions: Thoughts on PrAACtical Supports for Families

December 19, 2012 by - 7 Comments

Sometimes it’s hard to know how best to help families of AAC learners. There can be a dynamic tension between the things we would like them to do to maximize the AAC learning process and what they can realistically accomplish given the competing demands of their busy lives. We really believe that having families do more AAC at home will enhance the communication learning, though I’m not really sure that we have evidence to back up that belief. Nevertheless, we push for it. Nicely, of course. But we push. On a good day, it all works out. Or, at least it seems to. But does it really? Here are some things we’ve been thinking about. Each family has their own culture. Some families are highly structured, others are more spontaneous, and a few are downright chaotic. Whatever their nature, it is who they are and how they operate. We have... [Read More...]

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