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Sunday, November 22, 2020

10 weeks to 40 core words preview

I've been playing with some video introductions to some of my resources for AAC implementation.  Here is a video I just made for a resource that gets a lot of praise from buyers. 
While I am a "reluctant marketer" and hate being "salesy," I do love solving problems for busy SLPs who struggle with constantly creating or finding new ideas for core word implementation.  
I really like that this resource covers a lot of ground for SLPs and teaches 40 core words over a period of time from Aided Language Stimulation through fun contextual practice and into decontextualized carry-over.
Check it out here. It just might save you some time and sanity.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Could You Use a FREE Digital AAC Resource? Sure You Could!

 Distance learning; a term that conjures a variety of reactions in parents, speech pathologists, teachers, even students. One thing that is certain, though, is that it will be around for a long time.

Even before this pandemic, many SLPs were providing teletherapy, in part to battle the shortages of therapists in many areas of the country and also to provide more balance in their own lives.

I had begun creating some digital therapy activities last year and even as far back as 2016, but without a lot of consistency. But then came Spring this year and BAM!  There was a sudden need for more distance learning resources, and especially for AAC users.

Now, while I have always argued for creating contexts and playing with children in therapy, I know there is a need for decontextualized practice and for paper-based types of materials, but I wanted to try to keep an aspect of communication board use in as many of the materials as I could.

Last month I created this free resource that's just a taste of what I've been doing and wanted to offer it here for anyone who reads my blog. Just click the link here, sign on up for my newsletter and get it delivered straight to your inbox.

Just to let you know, I rarely send out newsletters, they are not salesy, usually contain a free resource or an interesting tip or strategy, and you can always hit unsubscribe!

So, enjoy.

And…. stay healthy!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Barrier Games from Afar - an Old Trick in the New Distance Learning

 I recently suggested to another SLP that barrier games are perfect for telepractice and received a sort of questioning look.  But when you think about it, distance is an ideal barrier.  With very little effort, you can make it impossible for students to see over to each others’ papers or to yours. And if it is just you and a single student it is even that much easier.  Concentrate on either side of the skill set - listening or formulating - or both and have fun. I have always found students to be engaged with very little effort!

When I first started using barrier games I had been a SLP for a while, but hadn’t worked with students who could actually speak very much up until that point. So it was a novel experience for me!  My first introduction to barrier games was with basic geometric shapes of different sizes and colors.  I don’t know about the students, but I got bored pretty quickly!

Then I found some fun cling-film sets. Boom!  The kids were hooked.  I had sets for the zoo and park, grocery store and house, and several other environments. These allowed me to throw in some other vocabulary, too. I got many, many hours of therapy out of these sets.

Now I just make my own with some fun clip art! Or cut up magazines and hit the copy machine. Another fun idea is to tie the barrier game to a book you’ve read and create vocabulary tie-ins that way, as well.

Barrier games are easy to do. Both people have identical sets of materials; a background (which can be a plain piece of paper or a fun scene) and picture pieces to be placed on the background. In a pinch, you can go back to the blank copier paper and geometric colored shapes.

One person is the listener, who must process the directions and descriptions and create the scene as the other person directs. 

The “narrator” gives directions using precise vocabulary  and good descriptions, making the scene they describe as they go. 

At the end, the two scenes should match.  If they don’t, mediate discovery of where the breakdown occurred. 

Were the directions too vague? The descriptions imprecise or vocabulary incorrect? Did the listener choose the wrong items or misplace something?

The errors can give you good insights about your students and where their difficulties stem from.

If you’re looking for some easy themed barrier games, try these in my store. Or have fun making your own. Tell me what fun themes you come up with!