Archive for October, 2014

What’s in your AAC toolbox?

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What’s the best AAC app? What’s the best dedicated speech generating device? What’s the best case? What’s the best ______…..

Several times a week I am either asked this question or I see it posted in one of the many AAC Facebook groups I follow.

Occasionally it seems to end up in a rather heated debate of ______ vs. ________.

This is counterproductive. Although there are key best practices when considering AAC options, there is not any one best AAC option (or one best therapy approach, or one best anything) when it comes to best meeting individual needs.

I have added a lot of tools to my toolbox over my 24+ year career as a speech-language pathologist. There have been pivotal moments where new tools were added that forever changed my perspective. Although shiny new tools may be exciting they did not replace the old tried & true tools. The exciting thing about tools is that you can use them together to build & repair. Would it make sense to ask “What’s better…. a hammer or a drill? a saw or a tape measure? a wrench or a flashlight? Of course not. Each tool has it’s specific purpose.  You select the tool based on what job you need to accomplish.

The show Handy Manny comes to mind. The tools don’t compete with each other. They work together.

Handy Manny: We Work Together

Okay Tools we’ve got a job to do
Let’s get going and fix it right
Twist and turn, make it tight
Trabajamos juntos
We work together now
Cut it
Measure it
Tap it flat
Bend and twist
Just like that
Each of us has a special job
We work together
Todos juntos
We can fix it right

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All states in the USA are supposed to have an Assistive Technology Lending Library program where parents & professionals can borrow AAC devices, iPads with AAC apps & other AT for short-term trial. It’s a great way to try various options out before making purchasing decisions. There are lots of great AAC devices & lots of great AAC apps…. but like anything there is no magical solution that meets every child’s specific needs. That’s why doing a good feature-match and trial of options is critical.

Find the AT Lending Library in your state: http://www.ataporg.org/states.html

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

 

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Cute & Trendy AAC ~ think like MacGyver

Vera Bradley AAC strap

Thanks to Ability Connection Oklahoma one of my sweet 12 year old patients received an iPad Mini with the Speak for Yourself AAC app in a ChatWrap case by Saltillo Corporation!

Several of my coworkers commented “How cute!” as they saw me assembling it on Friday…. first time I’ve ever heard AAC described as “cute”. Love it! There is no reason why AAC can’t be cute & trendy. The white case with the light purple edge definitely adds a cute feminine look to a white iPad Mini. But the strap that comes with it is black and not dainty enough for this girlie girl.

So I put on my MacGyver thinking cap. Ever since attending a Linda Burkhart workshop back in 1993 I have built quite a stash of items with the intent of someday using them for another purpose. {If you ever have the opportunity to attend a Linda Burkhart workshop sign up as quickly as you can. She’s been doing Assistive Technology & AAC before the internet, cell phones or iPads were invented. She’s a guru of low-tech solutions & the original MacGyver in the special needs world}

After rummaging through my closets & drawers I found everything I needed to make a stylish lightweight shoulder strap worthy of this sweet 12 year old patient’s new AAC device.

I decided to repurpose an old Vera Bradley Pedal Pink belt (circa 2006) into a carrying strap. My mom had used it as a belt then passed it on to me. I used it as a belt but hadn’t worn it in several years. It almost made it into the donation pile a couple of times…. but my MacGyver/Linda Burkhart mindset said “No that would make the perfect strap for a PECS book or AAC device some day”.

I forgot to take a pic of the belt before I started deconstructing it so here’s one I found on e-Bay:

VB belt

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Here’s my kitchen table with all my MacGyver supplies:

 

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It took less than an hour to transform the old belt & parts from an old duffel bag strap into a new carrying strap and cost $0.00 since these were all things I’ve had laying around my house for years.  I don’t own a sewing machine so it’s assembled with heavy duty iron-on stitch witchery fusible tape and then hand sewn. I’m pretty sure this sweet patient will be the only owner of this combo of a white iPad Mini + Speak For Yourself + ChatWrap Case w/ purple “boot” edging + a custom-made Vera Bradley carrying strap 🙂

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If you were a 12 year old girl, which carrying strap would you like? Which one would help your AAC device look cute & fashionable? Which one would promote attachment to the device and confidence in carrying it? The Vera Bradley one of course! Since many AAC devices are abandoned these are important things to consider. Hmmm…. I wonder if developing AAC fashion accessories could be a retirement career?

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FYI…. the  Speak for Yourself  AAC app will be 50% off ($99.99 USD) on October 15th, 2014. It’s likely that other AAC apps may go on sale this month so be watching the OMazing Kids Facebook Page for info.

Happy AAC Awareness Month!

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

.

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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Embarking on an AAC Voyage ~ Keep Sailing

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“To reach a port, we must sail – sail, not tie at anchor – sail not drift.”

How does this quote relate to ‪Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) & AAC Awareness‬? I’m glad you asked!

  • It is not okay to get stuck in the whirlpool of “proving” a child has met some outdated “prerequisites” before implementing meaningful communication.
  • It is not okay to set anchor at the “Cape of No Hope”… where assumptions are made on the child’s diagnosis and expectations set low.
  • It is not okay to drift at sea with no clear goals to get meaningful communication options in place.

We must ‪presume competence & work together to sail the ship to port. All aboard…. the ‪AAC ship is setting sail  🙂

Happy AAC Awareness Month! Follow the journey under the hashtags #AACfamily  #AACawareness #BecauseOfAAC & #PresumeCompetence.

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

App Reviews on The Appy Ladies: http://theappyladies.com/?s=Moorad
Posting Apps & Special Needs Resources on The Appy Ladies on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheAppyLadies 

.

OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar or any ads or unusual hyperlinks that may appear above. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here. I have attempted to remove the CouponDropDown but no luck so far…. DO NOT click on any hyperlinks unless you hover above them first to insure they are valid. Ones I included should appear in blue font.

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