Tag Archive: schools

How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

May 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

 We couldn’t be  more excited to have a return visit from Marlene Cummings, a wonderful SLP who is currently serving as an AAC Consultant to the AAC Team at Oakland Schools. In her first post, Marlene talked about strategies for cultivating the right mindset for AAC teaching. In this post, Marlene continues sharing elements of her Framework for Success in discussing the Knowledge Toolbox, developed with the Oakland Schools AAC Team.     5 Things in Your “Knowledge Toolbox” What is already in my “knowledge toolbox” of communication, language and learning? Yes, you do have a full toolbox. You just don’t realize it. And of course there are always new and exciting things to add. You already know this stuff!! REMEMBER??? It is important to step back and think broadly about communication and what it really does. Sometimes we get caught in the details of our work and can’t see the forest through the... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 2

May 9, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Today we welcome back 3 SLPs from the Orange County Public School (OCPS) AT team, Cathy George, Marcia Sterner, and Marcia Piersall. They are part of a very active and competent AT Team that supports over 700 students with dedicated AAC devices. It is no surprise that they’ve come up with a list of  5 essential TRICKs that they count on to help them support these students and their educational teams. You can read about the first 2 TRICKS, Try It and Resources, here and download some of their terrific resources. Today, we learn about the rest of their TRICKs: Information, Can’t Live Without It, and Kick It Up A Notch. Give Me Five: Essential TRICKS, Part 2 INFORMATION about the student Student interests What systems previously tried What tasks s/he is struggling with Trial data sheet– Communicative competence organizer CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT: In addition to AAC devices, these... [Read More...]

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Fresh Look: AAC in the Classroom with Joan Bruno

May 2, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Fresh Look: AAC in the Classroom with Joan Bruno

We’re off to a great start for Better Hearing and Speech Month! Today’s Fresh Look post comes from one of the most experienced AAC SLPs in the United States. Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has over 30 years experience working in the field of AAC.  She is currently maintains a private practice consulting to schools and private agencies and is the Augmentative Communication Specialist at the TECHConnection in Shrewsbury, NJ.  Joan has published and presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to AAC assessment and intervention. Joan is the 2011-2013 President of the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, and a Past-President of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Since 1992, she has directed Camp Chatterbox, a therapy camp for children using AAC devices.  Joan is the author of the Gateway to Language and Learning© page set and the Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance© (TASP). In... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

April 25, 2013 by - 6 Comments

How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

We’re so happy to welcome Lauren Enders back to share some more thoughts on AAC and the IEP. In her first post on this topic, Lauren addressed some frequently asked questions. Today, she provides a very valuable perspective on writing IEP goals for students who use or need AAC and some wonderful resources. Very often, I receive requests for support from teachers and speech therapists that are writing IEP goals for their students who use AAC.  When we sit down to discuss their questions, the first thing I remind them is that AAC goals are no different from any other IEP goal.  I recall a workshop I attended years ago presented by Gail VanTatenhove that helps put IEP goals for AAC into perspective.  Gail said that AAC therapy is just language therapy.  Isn’t that true? Aren’t we just teaching language?  For this student, language is simply being expressed in a... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Cultivating an “I Can” Mindset with Marlene Cummings

March 21, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: Cultivating an "I Can" Mindset with Marlene Cummings

As much as we love fresh new voices in the AAC community, there is simply nothing like the voice of experience. When a program has had more than 40 years of experience providing AAC services, we listen! Today, we are honored to have Marlene Cummings, an AAC SLP from Michigan, share the collective wisdom of her team. I have found that one of the joys in my professional life is asking hard questions about my present work and then figuring out ways to address those questions. Much of my 30 + years have been spent designing and implementing programs, systems and materials to support young children with complex communication needs in the role of the teacher in these classrooms. I explored ways to design environments and develop curricular frameworks and instructional materials, which would provide students with the instruction and opportunities to become competent communicators, all from the view of... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: AAC in the IEP

March 7, 2013 by - 6 Comments

How I Do It-AAC in the IEP

We’re happy to welcome back, Lauren Enders, an AAC specialist from Pennsylvania. You can read her earlier post here. This month, Lauren shares some of ways she addresses AAC learning in the IEP. Frequently, SLPs and teachers contact me in a complete panic because they need to generate an IEP and write IEP goals for a student who is using (or beginning to use) Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  These folks have lots of questions and most often, have no idea where to begin.  There are a number of questions that come up repeatedly in these panicked requests.  When approached by PrAACtical AAC to write a post about IEPs and AAC, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the most common questions I hear along with the answers I provide.  I will structure the post in a Question & Answer format in the hopes that the post... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Helping Hands + Visual Supports

October 21, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Helping Hands Download

We love this idea from Amy Laurent about Helping Hands, a positive and proactive way for children to get help when they need it. The strategy involves placing a visual support, such as a picture of Helping Hands, around the classroom in places where the student is likely to need assistance. Her Helping Hands video explains it in more detail. We love the proactive nature of this strategy, which aims to prevent frustration, rather than waiting for a problem to occur. We took a stab at creating some visual supports that can be used with the Helping Hands strategy, and you can download it below.

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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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