AAC at Home: Customizable Mask PowerPoint Book

As we begin to go back out into the world, it may be challenging to encourage children to wear a mask. There are many social stories already floating around and we are adding one more to the bunch.

Click on the picture below to download the book.

This book was made for you to modify as needed for the child in your life. The picture of the person is a placeholder for you to add a photo of the child, friends, family members, favorite musicians, or movie stars. The location pages can be easily changed to reflect places the child is most likely to travel to.

The animations in the PowerPoint are set to put a mask on each photo you add. When you play the Powerpoint, the mask animation is set to start on the first click. There are also Unity sequences for “put on” and “go”. Feel free to add your own or remove them as you see fit.

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AT at Home: Alternative Pencils & Greeting Card Apps

While there are many challenges posed by being stuck at home right now, one that hits especially hard is missing celebrations with family and friends. I have been using several greeting card apps to email and snail-mail my loved ones for birthdays, graduations, and baby showers. Card making is a great writing activity for any child and can be modified to include the use of alternative pencils. Below you will find a list of my favorite greeting card apps and some ideas for how to use a variety of alternative pencils.

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AAC at Home: Video Messaging Apps

There seem to be a million and one ways to keep in contact with friends and family floating around the internet right now. Marco Polo is one that I have been using for quick video messages to my loved ones. It is also a great resource for video messages that include AAC.

There are a few features in this app that make it a fun and easy way to communicate or use for video modeling with someone who is far away right now.

You can find Marco Polo on the App Store or Google Play.

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Low Tech AAC Ideas

Today, I’d like to share some low tech AAC options you can implement at home. Working in a school, I typically have access to many resources to make AAC systems including a printer and laminator for low tech boards in addition to having access to mid tech devices and high tech loaner systems. But I also work in early intervention and don’t always have access to the same resources. Many times, while we’ve submitted for a high tech device trial, my families and I want to put some sort of AAC system in place. We often turn to no/low-tech options!

This video shares some of the ideas we’ve used. There are many ways you can use items you have at home to make simple AAC systems. In the video I shared that many robust AAC systems have a back-up manual board. I often print and laminate these (you can use packing tape if you don’t have a laminator!) and introduce them to my clients while waiting for their high tech device. Here are some manual board resources.

The AAC Language Lab has Unity, CoreScanner, and LAMP manual communication boards.

Saltillo has manual communication boards for WordPower.

Check out Gail Van Tatenhove’s resource for designing a manual communication board for your child/client.

Literacy Presentation for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound

Today I presented a webinar for Connections Beyond Sight and Sound, the Maryland Deaf-Blind Project. A big thanks to them for including me in their webinars! Here is the powerpoint for my presentation.

In case you missed it, I discussed making reading experiences accessible with story boxes, language experiences books, and book modification ideas. I also talked about alphabet instruction, phonological/phonemic awareness, and vocabulary/ concept development. A reminder that my background is in speech-language pathology and many of my accommodations and activity ideas for children with low vision come from collaborating with a TVI.

The recorded session should be posted soon through CBSS. Here is the link for the original listing. I’ll try to update this post when there is a link for the recorded presentation!

AT at Home: OverDrive Read-Along

We think the Philadelphia Museum of Art captures parenting and working from home correctly with this meme.

We understand that one of the biggest challenges right now is keeping children occupied. If your local library uses OverDrive as a service for digital content, then you have access to books that provide narration.

These books can viewed on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Simply, log-in to your library’s website and search the catalog using the advanced search or filtered option.

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AAC at Home- Sensory Dough (a lot of it)

We are excited to continue sharing fun activities you can do at home and the modeling cheat-sheets to go with them.

Click the picture below for a link to my Pinterest board, “All the Dough”.

Most of these doughs can be made using common ingredients you can find in your pantry. Here are a few of my favorites:

This is a tried and true recipe.

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AAC at Home- Meal Time Modeling

If you have a child at home who uses AAC, you have probably heard “model, model, model”. Sometimes this is easier said than done. It is easy to get caught up in the labeling trap, and not exploring other types of vocabulary during this naturally social time.

We have created a short cheat-sheet with some ideas of other things to talk about at lunch. Comments about what you are eating, direct the actions of others around you, ask questions about taste and texture, and let your child know how you feel about the food.

Note: “it” can be replaced with the specific food item you are eating (i.e. “apple big”).

Need a few reminders about how to model effectively?

AAC at Home- Tic-Tac-Toe

Here is a fun game for some slightly older AAC users.

There are many different ways you can play tic-tac-toe. Click on the pictures below to explore which option might work best for your child.

This PowerPoint can be accessed using a mouse, touchscreen monitor/laptop, or a tablet with the PowerPoint app.

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