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Monday, October 8, 2018

How Do You Know if This is for You?

Collaboration between school and home is a significant concept for students who use picture-based communication.
Without both partners - school and home - working consistently to provide the student with the opportunities and strategies needed to become competent communicators it won’t happen (unless you have a bright kid with strong support in one or the other of those environments).

There are so many opportunities that cross over both environments, particularly in routines that are common.  Children perform routines tasks like washing hands, eating snack or a meal, even brushing teeth in multiple environments.  The vocabulary is consistent, the sequence is consistent, and the language used is consistent.
Additionally, there are situations, routines, and activities that are unique to either home or school, but are also highly engaging opportunities for communicating.

When it was suggested I write a book, I had envisioned writing a how-to manual for parents; who often get little or no information about how to work with AAC with their children.
But then it was also suggested that I write for SLPs who may be new to AAC. So, this book is my attempt to provide information for both of those groups of communication partners, so that they can understand and implement AAC strategies and systems.

Parents find themselves in a few distinct situations:

  • they have a nonverbal child and they don’t know where to start with building communication skills
  • they have bought or been given an iPad with an AAC app, but have had no training in implementation; including programing, operational functions, vocabulary organization or how to teach their child to use it
  • they have bought or been given an iPad with aac app but school staff say the child isn’t “ready” and refuse to implement
  • they borrow a device from a loan program (such as the CATE program which, locally, includes ATEC and SDATC) but the trial “fails” because nobody has known how to implement a successful trial.

What this book offers to parents and clinicians with limited knowledge/comfort with AAC:

  1. AAC terms and verbiage explained
  2. AAC myths dispelled
  3. What vocabulary to consider and what organizational structures exist to explore while ‘feature matching”
  4. A brief introduction to a few of the systems available
  5. Explanation of some access methodologies
  6. Brief explanation of AAC considerations for “special” populations (e.g. ASD, Rett Syndrome, CVI. C.P., etc.)
  7. Providing sufficient vocabulary; robust core + fringe
  8. Begin with single words
  9. Increase functions of communication beyond requesting
  10. Expanding responses beyond single words
  11. Implementation strategies that can (and should) be provided in home and at school, with good collaboration between the two environments (including ALgS, core use, planning, temptations, use of routines, etc)
  12. Sample activities to provide examples of how to plan and prepare for implementation sessions; both individually and in the usual environments

Best of all, the Kindle version is free today! (Monday, October 8, 2018).  So go and grab your copy.  Let me know how you like it. 
If you prefer paperback, find it here.

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