Tag Archive: visual schedule

Ideas for Teaching the Use of Visual Schedules

March 24, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Ideas for Teaching the Use of Visual Schedules

There’s nothing more depressing to us than walking into a classroom in the spring and seeing pristine visual schedules. Why? Because it probably means that the students aren’t really using them. We cheer when we see schedules that are rumpled and dog-eared, not shiny. Show me a battered and tattered visual schedule, and I’ll show you one that gets used every day. Sadly, that’s not always the case. – The bridge between having a visual schedule and consistently using it is one that many learners don’t seem to cross. Here are some of our ideas for helping your AAC learners to the other side. – 1. Have a plan to teach the schedule. If you are working one-on-one with a learner, you can easily implement the schedule and get them using it with most-to-least prompting. If you’re working with a group or a classroom, consider staggered implementation. Teaching 12 beginners... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: Types of Visual Schedules

March 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: Types of Visual Schedules

When people think about visual schedules, they tend to think about a classroom schedule with PCS for each major activity of  the day. These are great and we look for them whenever we do classroom visits. In this post, we hope to inspire some of you to use other types of visual schedules as well. We haven’t quite worked out the right terms for these (and we welcome your suggestions) but, conceptually we know that there are three main levels of visual schedules. Each level conveys information about what is happening in a specific segment of time. – At the Calendar Level, the schedule represents what’s happening throughout the month and/or week. – At the Schedule Level, we’re representing the events of a particular day, a portion of a day, or a session (or class period). – At the Task Level, the schedule reflects discrete steps of an activity or... [Read More...]

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5 Tips to Make AAC Assessments Run Smoothly

March 17, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Tips to Make AAC Assessments Run Smoothly

No one likes to be tested, least of all people with communication difficulties who don’t have the tools to express their anxiety or discomfort in the ways they would like to. Some of the people we evaluated had real issues with this and so we’ve experimented with ways to make the testing less stressful and more productive. Here are some of the strategies that we found to be most successful. – 1. Work with the team to establish Fair Testing Practices for the person you’ll be evaluating. Our chapter on ‘Language Assessment for Students Who Use AAC’ describes this in more detail, but essentially it involves writing a ‘rule book’ for how to test this person. It might specify how long the test session can/should be, how to set up the situation so the person can respond, and what other supports are needed so that we are testing the person’s... [Read More...]

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AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC

March 10, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC

It’s Spring Break here in Florida and that makes us think of traveling. Traveling is never easy, but people who use AAC don’t let that stop them. Here are some tips for making travel easier. – 1. Prepare with a social story. There are some great ones available online, like this one from Autisable (downloadable version here) and . Books and narratives about travelling, such as this one from Kids Can Dream, can also be helpful. Keep the visual element strong by downloading travel brochures for places you will visit, looking at images together, or watching online videos of your destination. – 2. Put it on the (visual) calendar. If you have a monthly or weekly calendar, add symbols to for the trip. Look at the calendar together to talk about it, what you’ll be doing, etc. Doing this repeatedly, can ease the transition into this new territory. Consider doing... [Read More...]

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Visual Schedules 411

March 10, 2012 by - 1 Comment

Visual Schedules 411

Visual schedules come in all shapes and sizes. The process of deciding which one to use begins with two questions: What is the purpose of this particular visual schedule? How will it be used? Both of these drive the decisions you make about which format to use. If my primary purpose in making the visual schedule is to help a student become more independent in following the steps in a task, and I know the person is going to be seated at a desk while doing this, I may choose a horizontal layout that shows the sequence. Because it is a school-aged child and we are activity working on literacy skills, I consider a stationary format on the desk surface that has the student use a check-off system. Having the student cross out or check off the steps as they are completed, gives authentic practice with writing skills. On the... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Visual Schedules & Inclusion

March 4, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Visual Schedules & Inclusion

We love strategies that work for everyone and visual schedules certainly fall into that category. Although the my planner might look different from the ones used by kids in our AAC preschool, the purposes are quite similar. This video from Kids Included Together (KIT) project at the National Training Center on Inclusion makes that point well. Watch for the nice examples of schedules using pictures and objects.    

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Strategy of the Month: Riddle Me This

March 3, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: Riddle Me This

Here’s a riddle for you. Read the clues and guess what tool or strategy we’re talking about. Clue #1:  It’s used in almost every classroom and therapy room serving students with ASD. Clue #2: The one for Johnny looks almost the same as the one for Jenny. Clue #3: It looks as nice in June as it did in September. If you guessed visual schedules, you’ve just named our March Strategy of the Month. Visual Schedules? But everybody already uses those. Why post about those? — Here’s why. – They’re ubiquitous.  And yet when we talk with educators and SLPs about how the children are doing with their schedules, we get a look and a shrug. “Okay, I guess.” To be sure, okay is better than not okay. But visual schedules have so much potential to make lives better for clinicians, educators, and people with AAC needs that okay isn’t... [Read More...]

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Talking About Talking

January 8, 2012 by - 4 Comments

Talking About Talking

A colleague and I taught a workshop awhile back where there was an interesting sidebar conversation. A special educator was trying to convince an administrator that even though her student used a high tech speech generating device (SGD), she still needed the software to create other communication tools, like language boards and visual schedules. Having spent a great deal of money on AAC technology, the administrator was reluctant to commit additional funds for that authoring software. “She has a $5,000 device,” Sally Supervisor said. “Now you’re telling me you need special software to make things you can print out on paper?”The teacher’s point, of course, was a valid one. Children with AAC needs, like the rest of us, communicate in a variety of ways. In most cases, they need access to a variety of tools and the training to use them effectively. Just like we do.We gesture. We write with... [Read More...]

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