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When Lauren first suggested this series, I was a little hesitant.  What if we didn’t have a story to post every week?  But we work with some pretty amazing kids and it looks like this series is going to be a piece of cake to keep up!

When I first started working at my school, a lot of the students did not have individual AAC systems.  And those who did often had a “PECS book.”  I use this term loosely because it was in no way used as a picture exchange system.  After I did my first teacher training on using core words to communicate, one of the teachers immediately went back to her classroom and printed a 50 cell core board to try with her students.  She was a little skeptical but had a student with some behaviors that she was desperate to figure out a system for.

Well that first day, he saw the board and started using it to say simple one word utterances with little training and modeling.  His speech therapist jumped in and pretty soon he was using some two and three word phrases too!  He has a high tech device now and is really interested in learning to spell and read!

This week, while working with him and his aide I noticed that he was being given a picture of a CVC word and letter tiles of the exact 3 letters needed to spell a word.  I asked his aide if we could challenge him a bit by giving him all of the letter tiles.  He immediately spelt the first word “CAN” when given a picture of a can.  Then he was given a picture of a bed.  He picked up the letter tiles “SLE” and then began to yell.  I quickly realized he was trying to spell “sleep” but only had one “E” tile!  So I pulled up the keyboard on his Accent device.

Unity Keyboard

He quickly typed in “SLEEP” then looked at me and his aide and smiled.  He closed out the keyboard, opened the Icon Tutor, and typed “SLEEP” again.  He memorized the icon sequence and then said “sleep” using a two-hit sequence (bed + action man).  He smiled and laughed and then waited for the next picture card!  Is that boy smart or what?!  I think it’s safe to say that his aide won’t be underestimating him again! 🙂

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IconTutorKey   Click here to find out more about the Icon Tutor on the Accent devices by PRC.

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