Posts Tagged ‘#AACawareness’

{Appy AAC Awareness Month}: Favorite Apps for Teaching AAC Core Vocabulary

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{Appy AAC Awareness Month}: Favorite Apps for Teaching AAC Core Vocabulary

I’m always looking for fun and motivating ways to target core vocabulary for my patients that are AAC users. I use a variety of toys, books, sensory activities & apps to provide lots of opportunities for practice in the short amount of time I have with them in OMazing Kids speech therapy each week. My iPad loaded with fabulous apps is one of the best tools in my SLP therapy toolbox!


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Here are some of my favorite iOS apps for targeting core vocabulary (listed in alphabetical order, prices were verified and all were available in the USA App Store at the time of this post. I have no way to know if these apps are available in other countries or what the prices would be if they are):

* BakingFun for Kids, $1.99, https://appsto.re/us/HZYAQ.i (free printable core vocab mini book to go with the app: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2014/08/25/core-vocabulary-app-of-the-week-free-printable-booklet-baking-fun-by-kujifun/)
* Bamba apps (my faves are: Ice-Cream, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/gkz-F.i & Wonderland, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/Frwzcb.i)
* Build A Truck – Duck Duck Moose, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/tSBYR.i
* Choo Choo Park, $.99 -> currently FREE, https://appsto.re/us/V2G_9.i (definitely worth grabbing all 6 of their apps while they are free. I rotate them on/off my iPad seasonally or based on themes)
* Dr. Panda apps (tons of great apps… some of my faves: Bus Driver, $2.99. -> currently on sale for $.99, https://appsto.re/us/JhJlS.i; Carnival, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/KvVQ7.i; Bath Time,
$2.99, https://appsto.re/us/iek0bb.i; Daycare, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/fuJuI.i & Swimming Pool, $1.99, https://appsto.re/us/xKWM2.i)
* Frosby Picnic Camp, $1.99, https://appsto.re/us/1H16O.i
* Fuzzy House, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/jPZBbb.i
* Let’s Make Friends – Play Toy, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/Rvk-Q.i
* My PlayHome, $3.99, https://appsto.re/us/5fdnA.i (they also have Stores (https://appsto.re/us/slcXO.i), School (https://appsto.re/us/zL392.i) & Hospital (https://appsto.re/us/FAksbb.i) apps that are $2.99 each and the cool thing is the apps all link to each other so you can easily explore the town)
* Pepi Garage, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/a0Me9.i
* Pogg, $.99, https://appsto.re/us/L4HUt.i
* Sago Mini apps (lots of great apps…. some of my faves: Friends, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/61Qh0.i; Road Trip, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/M1E7Z.i
* Science Museum Splash!, $.99, https://appsto.re/us/sfoDQ.i (very excited to see this app reappear in the App Store)
* Sharing with Duckie Deck, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/la7qI.i
* Toca Boca apps (several great apps… some of my faves: Pet Doctor, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/HnSkW.i, Tea Party, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/Kogsz.i & Train, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/JM5fF.i)
* Wheels on the Bus HD by Duck Duck Moose, FREE, https://appsto.re/us/kg7kw.i

For older kids & teens, I also use a variety of sports-themed and game apps (ex: Streetball Game, $2.99, https://appsto.re/us/Vv80bb.i; Galaxy Bowling, $3.99,
https://appsto.re/us/FwitA.i; Air Hockey by Acceleroto, $.99, https://appsto.re/us/LrAdr.i, Sprinkle Junior, $1.99, https://appsto.re/us/KB7sC.i, Thinkrolls Logic Puzzles Bundle – 2 apps, $5.99, https://appsto.re/us/sr_0db.i)
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Tips: Apps come and go frequently in the App Store. New apps are released. Sometimes older apps disappear while they are being updated. Sometimes they never reappear. So it’s always wise to periodically back up your iPad by plugging it into a computer logged into your iTunes account. This insures you won’t lose any apps that may disappear from the App Store. I originally got most of these apps by grabbing them quickly when they were free for a day or two. Watch my OMazing Kids Facebook page and AppPeeps Facebook group where I share these as “free app alerts”. Others I got on sale or via doing app reviews.

The main thing I look for when searching for apps to use for targeting core vocabulary for AAC users in therapy sessions are open-ended play apps that are intuitive, have large engaging graphics, are ad-free, have the option to toggle off any background music or it is very subtle (not over stimulating) while still leaving on any sound effects or voiceovers and any outside links are well hidden behind a parental gate.
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Of course these apps must be on a separate iPad from their “talker” so you can “talk” while playing


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I use these apps to target the same core vocabulary that I would with a “real” toy or activity. Think of it as the “virtual” version of that. I lock the “play” iPad into the app that I have selected by enabling Guided Access. If the child is using an iPad as their “talker”, then it is also locked into their AAC app via Guided Access.


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Need ideas for how to target core vocabulary? I’m LOVING the Core Word 5-Minute Fillers on the NEW AssistiveWare Core Word Classroom website. Here’s a screenshot of the one for Mr. Potato Head.

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You could use these ideas with a “real” Mr. Potato Head or the app version (Mr. Potato Head – Create & Play: School Edition by Originator Inc., $4.99, https://appsto.re/us/Y6JCI.i)

http://coreword.assistiveware.com – It’s only free for a short time while the website is in “beta” development so I’d suggest that you save any PDFs that you love.
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I also love this free resource from Saltillo (maker of NovaChat and ChatFusion SGDs & the TouchChat AAC app): https://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga/photos/a.433610663356611.117461.174264525957894/1192093340841669/?type=3
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Other helpful resources:

Balanced AAC approach: http://praacticalaac.org/praactical/the-baby-the-bathwater-and-core-vocabulary/

Tons of great info: http://praacticalaac.org/?s=Core

Quick handout: http://www.handyhandouts.com/pdf/405_CoreVocabulary.pdf

Need help getting FREE access to AAC apps to trial with patients? Check out this post:

#SLPeeps #AAC #AidedLanguageStimulation #augcomm
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/17426452595789
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/omazingkids
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com
Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 26 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps, products, books & toys to use with kids of all abilities.

Amazing new FREE app: Sesame Street and Autism

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Wow! I’m very impressed with this! Get amazing resources for kids & parents in this new FREE app: Sesame Street and Autism
https://appsto.re/us/MCg48.i

Also available online at: http://autism.sesamestreet.org. I didn’t see an Android version of the app yet but my guess is that it will be released soon.

I love that they have presented a well-balanced view of Autism…. both the positives & the challenges. Also love seeing several real life examples of AAC use. Excited to see AAC use out in the mainstream media 🙂

Love, love, love this new song:

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MP3:

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More about the project: http://www.people.com/article/sesame-street-introduces-autistic-muppet

The story behind why this new Sesame Street​ Autism initiative is so awesome… they took the time to include Autism self-advocates in the process of developing it!

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network​, ASAN, is proud to be a partner in Sesame Workshop’s “Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” initiative. Over the past year, ASAN has worked closely with Sesame Workshop to ensure that the initiative and its materials are positive, respectful, and promote real understanding and acceptance of autistic people. The See Amazing initiative represents an important step forward in public conversations aimed at autism, one focused on celebrating all kinds of minds.”

http://autisticadvocacy.org/2015/10/asan-statement-on-sesame-workshops-see-amazing-initiative/

https://www.facebook.com/AutisticAdvocacy

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More cool behind the scenes info: http://autism-daddy.blogspot.com/2015/10/sesame-street-autism-my-2-worlds.html

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Why is the new Sesame Street character is a girl? How did they choose the traits she would have?

“Children with autism vary in their traits significantly: some can talk, while others can’t. Many of them are sensitive to noise. Some have trouble keeping eye contact, and many of them experience the world differently, so they’ll touch different objects to explore the sensation of texture. Perhaps because of this range, autism is also extremely controversial. While some organizations, such as Autism Speaks, consider autism a syndrome that calls for research to help mitigate its effects, others, such as the Autism Self-Advocacy Network, simply view autism as an alternative way of expressing oneself….”

Read the whole post at: http://www.latimes.com/local/education/community/la-me-edu-sesame-street-autistic-muppet-girl-julia-20151022-htmlstory.html

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‪#‎SeeAmazing‬
‪#‎AACawareness‬
‪#‎Autism‬
‪#‎SpecialNeeds‬

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Looking for more app info? Come on over to my OMazing Kids Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga & my AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness & educational activities for kids of all abilities
Home E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741
Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad
Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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Angela Moorad is the founder of OMazing Kids, LLC and is an ASHA certified & licensed pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Kids Yoga Teacher with over 25 years experience working in a variety of settings (early intervention, schools, teletherapy & a nonprofit pediatric rehab hospital for children with developmental disabilities). She is an app beta tester for educational & therapeutic app developers and loves sharing info about great apps and tech products to use with kids of all abilities.

{Avaz Pro AAC App Giveaway ~ worth $199.99} Enter to win one of two codes for this AAC app

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{Avaz Pro AAC App Giveaway ~ worth $199.99} Head over to this post on OMazing Kids Facebook page for a chance to win one of two codes for the USA English version of this newly updated robust AAC app from AVAZ – Making every voice heard:

 

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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

Facebook Messaging for OMazing Kids: https://www.facebook.com/messages/174264525957894

AppPeeps Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OMazingKidsAppPeeps/

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

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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. 

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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 

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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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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 

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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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