AAC How to Use: Guided Access

AAC How to Use: Guided Access

In this video I’ll show you how to use guided access with your students when you’re using an Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) app on an iPad.

As a speech language pathologist (SLP) working with students, you’ll find some of your students will know their way around an iPad. A student might decide he doesn’t want to be in the AAC app any more so he clicks out of it to go exploring. Maybe he’d rather play a game or use the camera app. It’s easy to limit this access using settings that are available on iPads.

I’ll walk you through the steps to set this up on your iPad including using a passcode to limit access to different apps and functions in apps on the iPad. Remember, this isn’t being mean or controlling. It’s all about helping your student be successful with his AAC device. He can use a different iPad to access games and other activities.

A Roadmap out of AAC Overwhelm

A Roadmap out of AAC Overwhelm

A Road Map out of AAC Overwhelm

The other day someone asked me how I got into AAC.

I have to say, I didn’t always love it like I do now. It was more like a love/hate relationship. Love the possibilities, hate the reality. Okay not hate, that’s harsh.

Either way, AAC has always fascinated me.

But I can tell you, I was not “good” at it when I got started. I did NOT AAC like a Boss-it was more like AAC Like An Indentured Servant. 😂 I didn’t know what I was doing (and I felt really bad about it).

However, I did know I wanted to help these kids and I needed to up my skill set.

So, I took every online AAC course I could find and started reading articles, blogs and research papers. When I went to ASHA conventions I would soak up all the AAC sessions.

I’d take the ideas to work and give them a try. Some things worked, a lot of things didn’t.

One thing I noticed, again and again, was that I would learn so much in a course I’d get OVERWHELMED with information and not even know where to start.

Fast forward 11 years to 2018. Finally! What I was doing was working. Time to relax right? Haha not me.

I started thinking… “I learned all this good stuff, I can’t just keep it to myself. I don’t want to help just a few kids, I want to help all the kids“.

That’s when the idea for AAC Academy was born. I opened the doors in May 2018 and I was SCARED.

Scared no one would join,

scared people would say who does she think she is,

scared it wouldn’t work.

But…

I squashed the doubts (actually just muffled the noise). Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.

Now it’s exactly one year later and hundreds of people have been through the door!

I’m just thrilled to share this AAC journey with them and would love to share it with you too!

I’ve used everything I’ve learned to give you an AAC Roadmap to confidence and success. And it’s all in bite-sized, easy to implement pieces.

The joy that comes from helping a child expand her world through communication is priceless!

You and I are in the process of helping our kids shape their one wild and precious life with their communication.

Ready to find out more?

Let’s do it! Click here for details. (Don’t wait too long, doors are closing soon)

Stellar Lessons from One Year of Meditation

Stellar Lessons from One Year of Meditation

This May I hit the one year mark for meditation. That means I actually showed up every day for ten minutes for me. That’s kind of monumental.

I think I was able to do it because ten minutes isn’t a huge time commitment. Really it’s ten minutes less social media scroll time, which I can certainly spare.

I wish I could say each meditation was perfect, blissful and ohm-inducing, but not so much. There were a few days that I stayed in the zone a little longer than others. But honestly most of the days it’s just like life: scattered, imperfect, and random with moments of clarity and genius.

What I got back from the ten minute a day investment has been really invaluable; little subtle lasting changes in my approach to every day life. For example, I have more patience. I’m not sure how that happened. Maybe it has to do with a better knowledge of time.

I have more pockets of calmness. I think it’s because I am more aware of how busy the mind can be and how random thoughts are always passing through.

I have a better awareness of the ability to change gears and how easy it is. I can remind myself those are just thoughts, they don’t have to be real.

I am more present more often; which makes me feel more grounded in gratitude.  By that I mean instead of rushing from experience to experience, I get little reminders to breathe, be in this moment and soak in all the good stuff. And that goes for the bad stuff too. I know it might sound counter intuitive but now when I am in physical pain I let myself really feel it. Instead of panicking, I focus on where the pain is occurring in my body and give it a number on a scale of 1 to 10. I breathe into it. It really works.

Best of all I feel like I have an increased capacity for every day joy. It’s that feeling of being in the right body at the exact right time in your life. Those moments are fleeting but so delicious.

So how did I do it? I used my phone, ear buds, and a meditation app called Headspace.

They pretty much walk you through everything. Selling features for me were: really cool teaching animations, Andy’s cool British accent and it’s all backed by research. Watch Andy’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon here.

I’ve tried other forms of meditation but for some reason this is the right one for me. You can try it for 10 days for free too, that’s how I got started.  Click the link here to learn more about Headspace.

Would you like to try Headspace for a whole month for FREE? Just comment below and tell me what qualities you want to cultivate through meditation. I’ll pick a winner  on June 30, 2018.

AAC Academy – a New Way to Support AAC

AAC Academy – a New Way to Support AAC

Where did you learn about AAC? Hopefully, if you are a recent SLP graduate you took an AAC class as part of your master’s degree program. But what if you graduated a while ago? Or what if you find yourself suddenly needing to know more? AAC Academy is a new way to learn more about AAC; it might be just what you need.

Of course, you want to help the kids who have AAC devices (or desperately need AAC devices), but you just don’t have the experience, or the knowledge base, or the confidence-never mind the time it would take to get caught up on the latest EBPs for AAC intervention. So you tell yourself you’ll get to it later. Only later never comes, and those kids are out there waiting for you NOW!

Why is it we feel so confident when it comes to almost all of our amazing scope of practice, yet when it comes to serving kids with complex communication needs, we feel our SLP self-confidence slowly slipping away?

I know just how you feel! When I started out in this field a decade ago, I had no idea what I was doing.  I had so many questions.

Now, I can see you struggling too.  We all feel bad for the kids because we want the very best for them.  That’s when I knew I had to do something. Something had to change.

I’ve seen AAC build amazing communication bridges. If the people in a child’s life are afraid to use AAC, I hate to think of how many children are really missing out. It’s time to change that.

So I had to create AAC Academy.

Imagine feeling truly confident in your ability to bridge that communication gap. See yourself helping families connect and children become more successful in the classroom.

Imagine giving a student the gift of increased independence and expressive language. Now, instead of throwing a tantrum when he wants his favorite toy, he’ll be able to use AAC to “say” “I want my toy”. You’ll be giving him the ability to clearly express “I like” or “I don’t like”. You’ll opening a whole new world for him.

It’s time to AAC Like a Boss.

My academy-stye group AAC “coaching” program will build your SLP skills, increase your confidence, and allow you to help ALL of your students strengthen their communication skills.

AAC Academy will answer your AAC questions:

  • How do I start?

             With AAC Academy you’ll confidently jump in

  • What core words do I start with?

 You can feel on top of your game with a complete plan and the support you need

  • How long do I teach each core word before I move on?

Understand the theory and research behind modeling language for your students

  • How do I model and teach core vocabulary?

See video modules with specific easy to implement example

  • How do I deal with multiple different devices in a classroom?

You’ll gain knowledge to make group therapy work for all devices

  • What if my student just wants to push buttons?

Learn strategies and techniques that allow time for exploration and time to “work”

Benefits:

  • Confidence-build knowledge of AAC
  • You’ll have support, no more going it alone
  • Help kids find their voice and truly make a difference
  • Expand your skill base, overcome technology fears
  • Save time-videos and modules are bite-sized (no huge time commitment)
  • Connect with like-minded SLPs/educators in the Facebook group

To join the AAC Academy click here.

Note: Early Bird pricing is in effect until May 15, 2018. This is a great chance for you to lock-in at a low price.

Feel Confident with Expert AAC Strategies

Feel Confident with Expert AAC Strategies

Want solid AAC and Assistive Technology ideas and tips for school speech therapy? Watch this engaging interview with AT Specialist Chris Bugaj.  We talk about the importance of presuming potential, core vocabulary, motor planning, aided language stimulation and AAC in the IEP. You’ll also learn the AAC mistakes we both made.

Click below to watch or click here.

 

I was lucky enough to spend two days at an Assistive Technology workshop for school districts across Arizona led by Chris Bugaj. Chris is a Licensed Speech – Language Pathologist in Virginia with Certificate of Clinical Competence. He is also the founding member of the Loudoun County Public Schools’ Assistive Technology Team.

 

Chris is not only knowledgeable, he’s an engaging speaker with contagious enthusiasm for all things AAC and Assistive Technology.

Big AAC Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss: (or advice for the new SLP who’s a little scared)

  • You have to own this! If you’re inspired, you can inspire others.
  • Believe in your student; presume potential.
  • Understand the fundamentals of AAC.
  • Aided Language Stimulation is a must
  • You don’t write an AAC goal, you write a language goal. Lean on your language expertise to be able to write better goals.

 

Check out these highlights:

The staircase analogy 11:00

Core vocabulary and the cell phone analogy 15:23

Mistakes Chris and I both made 17:00

How to approach AAC and AT in the IEP 23:00

My “aha” moment (a different way to look at back-up AAC) 25:00

 

Resources:

http://bit.ly/aacquadrant

Where to find Chris Bugaj:

https://attipscast.com/

Twitter@Attipscast

Want to get started with Core Vocabulary but aren’t sure how?  Click here Quick Inexpensive Way to Get Started with Core Vocabulary. 

Beautiful Speech Life

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