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.(more…)
Stop everything and save your cardboard toilet paper rolls! https://tinkerlab.com/ has a wonderful idea for creating a DIY Marble Run on your wall. This activity will work with any small round items. You could even make marbles using the salt dough from our previous post. Keep reading for some AAC modeling ideas for this activity.(more…)
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.(more…)
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.
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.(more…)
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?
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.(more…)
Do any of you have pets? Especially dogs! I do, and today he was whining for some of the homemade soft pretzels I made. So I started having him do some tricks to get some pretzel. But then I thought, “hmmm most of these trick commands are CORE words!” So I got on the floor, grabbed my iPad with LAMP WFL, plugged in a blue tooth speaker, and Sir Lancelot (my dog) started doing some tricks! This could be really fun to do at home with your pets! Check out the video here!
We hope everyone is well and hanging in there. Over the next few weeks, we are going to share some activities you can do with your children at home with everyday items.
We are going to start with Flashlight Constellations. PBS has created a wonderful instruction sheet complete with photo instructions and templates.(more…)
First, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! With schools closed, I’ve seen a lot of posts about AAC use at home, tele-therapy, resources for AAC users, etc. I’m going to be doing some AAC tele-therapy and I am so excited to see my students and clients! I am also going to be posting story time videos with AAC. I’ll be reading books and modeling with an AAC device while reading. My first book is one of my favorites, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!” I know some of my clients like to watch YouTube videos of books and video games and hope some of them will follow along for some aided language stimulation. You can watch the video here.
I”ll mostly be modeling on LAMP WFL, Unity, and WordPower 60 since that’s what most of my clients use. But, feel free to send me an email and I am happy to model with a different system!
Many of my students have vision impairments and benefit from hands on literacy experiences. Although, honestly anyone can benefit from a hands on experience when learning language 🙂 So for my first story, I also made a second video for parents about story boxes. You can watch the video here. Story boxes are interactive literacy experiences using objects or items that correlate to the story. You can learn more about story boxes from this article on the Paths to Literacy website.
I hope this is a helpful resource for everyone at home!