It’s AAC Awareness Month!

Augmentative and Alternative Communication
(AAC) Awareness Month

 

October is AAC Awareness Month, and what better way to kick off the month than to share helpful information and resources! For children with apraxia of speech, the inability to effectively communicate may lead to frustration, anxiety, and/or reduced self-confidence. We at Apraxia Kids have been supporters of the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) through the information we provide online and our ongoing community partnerships.

 

What is AAC?

AAC stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication” and essentially means helping someone communicate using any form of communication other than speech. Many people associate AAC with speech tablets, like an iPad. When speech is not adequate to achieve the child’s communicative purposes, a child must find a way to close any gaps (which is especially important as the child enters school). This may be through using sign language, picture books, or a speech tablet.

Apraxia Kids – Speech Tablets for Apraxia

We are also pleased to share with our families that our Speech Tablet Program Application is now available! Applications are due December 18, 2020.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/speech-tablets-for-apraxia/

Apraxia Kids is also offering the following webinars
for FREE for the month of October!

APRAXIA KIDS WEBINARS

Sign Language to Support Emergent Speech in Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Presented By: Cari Ebert, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sign language is one type of visual cue that can be used in a multisensory speech therapy approach, regardless of the diagnosis. This webinar will outline the benefits of using sign language specifically with children who have been diagnosed with CAS or suspected CAS. Participants will acquire specific strategies for incorporating sign language into the therapy plan to help achieve functional communication while simultaneously addressing motor-speech goals.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

Motivating Children with Exciting Apps

Presented By: Erik X. Raj, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

This hands-on course is designed to meet the needs of school-age children and adolescents with various communication difficulties by introducing them to photo-based iPad apps. Through the discussions and demonstrations of the highlighted apps, parents and speech-language pathologists will learn how to manipulate personal photos in an effort to motivate and teach the young learners in their lives.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

AAC Strategies for Apraxia

Presented By:  Marleah Herman-Umpleby, M.S., CCC-SLP and Stephanie Ekis, M.S., CCC-SLP

This session will provide 10 easy to implement suggestions for using AAC technology, and supports to encourage language and literacy growth in individuals with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). The importance of social and meaningful interactions (and not just requests!), literacy development, curriculum supports and resources will all be discussed. Information and valuable tools about being a great communication partner will also be shared to help families and teams provide optimal circumstances for growth, literacy and engagement. AAC does not have to be presented *instead* of use of natural speech for individuals with CAS. Watch this session to learn more about the benefits of using it as a part of a speech and language intervention program!

Focus on Communicating: Speech and AAC Systems can Co-Exist

Presented By:  Anne Kuhlmeier, M.A., CCC-SLP

Your child has an AAC system (communication book, iPad with communication App, dedicated speech generating device) and now you are struggling with implementing it as a successful communication tool. Speech is your end goal, however it isn’t coming fast enough and the child is becoming more frustrated. How do you balance using this AAC system with your speech goals? How do you encourage educational staff to use this AAC system with this child?

Most communication partners have been trained to model for speech, however when it comes to implementing AAC systems they fall back to quizzing the AAC User on receptive vocabulary. The focus becomes finding vocabulary and not using it purposefully. Using the AAC system is akin to talking in a foreign language. Recognizing communication opportunities and building communication can be different when you are utilizing an AAC system. And while speech is still your end goal, getting to the goal line is often like crossing a mine field. This presentation will focus on evaluating the environment needs and developing a plan for implementing the AAC system (regardless of whether it is high or low tech!), techniques useful to help facilitate use of the AAC system and balance speech needs, and what communication partners should know when talking with an AAC User.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

ARTICLES FROM THE APRAXIA KIDS FREE ARTICLE LIBRARY

”What About Sign Language, Speech Tablets, and Other Communication Forms?” is written by a diverse group of contributors and has a large amount of info about the use of sign language and a variety of Augmentative and Alternative Communication options including iPads and dedicated speech generating devices.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/what-about-sign-language-speech-tablets-and-other-communication-forms/

 

“Apps for Kids with Apraxia” includes a resource list of a variety of apps to use for specific needs of your child.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/apps-for-kids-with-apraxia/

 


What apps should I use?

If you decide to use a tablet/iPad for a communication device, your SLP can likely suggest a few apps you can try! Apps should be used with therapist and/or parent supervision to support the child’s speech practice or assist them in their communication attempts. Some apps are for speech practice, while others are for providing an augmentative/alternative communication tool.

We collaborated with Penn State Health to put together a FREE App Guide to help you get started on your app search! Check it out here!

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/apps-for-kids-with-apraxia/

 

 

App Discounts

Many app makers are offering discounts on their products during AAC Awareness Month this October. Keep your eyes out for sales on products that you’re interested in! Here are a few that have announced they will have upcoming sales:

AssistiveWare
October 12-16, 2020
50% Discount on Proloquo2Go, Gateway Vocabulary, Proloquo4Text, Keeble, Pictello, and AAC Training Videos
https://www.assistiveware.com/blog/aac-awareness-month-discount-2020?fbclid=IwAR0iJicYyn4noOZF9GsiMZK_fR_yip2Vexq3WFBfHV447mu5eU0c71Kx0mc

TouchChat
October 14-18, 2020
50% Discount https://touchchatapp.com/blog#:~:text=Celebrate%20AAC%20Awareness%20Month%20with%2050%25%20Off%20TouchChat%C2%AE!,-Sep%2023%2C%202020&text=See%20below%20for%20details.,on%20the%20U.S.%20App%20Store

LAMP Words for Life
October 14-18, 2020
50% Discount
https://www.prentrom.com/articles/aac-awareness-month-50-percent-off-lamp-words-for-life?mode=view

 

Other AAC Options

AAC just means you are communicating in a way other than speech. That doesn’t mean you need the fanciest iPad or most expensive app. You can also use sign language or picture cards.

PrAACtical AAC
Tips, resources, and free downloads
https://praacticalaac.org/

Amy Speech & Language Therapy, Inc.
Free AAC Downloads
https://www.amyspeechlanguagetherapy.com/communication-boards.html

School Health
Various AAC options for purchase
https://www.schoolhealth.com/all-products/special-education/augmentative-alternative-communication

Gallaudet University
Learn basic American Sign Language (ASL) online with free categorized videos
https://www.gallaudet.edu/asl-connect/asl-for-free/asl-by-topic

Together, we are working to help make the world a more accepting place for all children with apraxia of speech. While our vision is a world where all children with apraxia reach their highest communication potential, we must not lose sight of those children, teens, and adults who require the use of AAC to reach this potential. We must remember that everyone deserves a voice!

 

Disclaimer:
Aligned with our mission, Apraxia Kids does not endorse any one method, program, or approach. Rather, we share information so families and professionals can make informed choices for children with CAS as they work to find their voices.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication
(AAC) Awareness Month

 

October is AAC Awareness Month, and what better way to kick off the month than to share helpful information and resources! For children with apraxia of speech, the inability to effectively communicate may lead to frustration, anxiety, and/or reduced self-confidence. We at Apraxia Kids have been supporters of the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) through the information we provide online and our ongoing community partnerships.

 

What is AAC?

AAC stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication” and essentially means helping someone communicate using any form of communication other than speech. Many people associate AAC with speech tablets, like an iPad. When speech is not adequate to achieve the child’s communicative purposes, a child must find a way to close any gaps (which is especially important as the child enters school). This may be through using sign language, picture books, or a speech tablet.

Apraxia Kids – Speech Tablets for Apraxia

We are also pleased to share with our families that our Speech Tablet Program Application is now available! Applications are due December 18, 2020.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/speech-tablets-for-apraxia/

Apraxia Kids is also offering the following webinars
for FREE for the month of October!

APRAXIA KIDS WEBINARS

Sign Language to Support Emergent Speech in Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Presented By: Cari Ebert, M.S., CCC-SLP

Sign language is one type of visual cue that can be used in a multisensory speech therapy approach, regardless of the diagnosis. This webinar will outline the benefits of using sign language specifically with children who have been diagnosed with CAS or suspected CAS. Participants will acquire specific strategies for incorporating sign language into the therapy plan to help achieve functional communication while simultaneously addressing motor-speech goals.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

Motivating Children with Exciting Apps

Presented By: Erik X. Raj, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

This hands-on course is designed to meet the needs of school-age children and adolescents with various communication difficulties by introducing them to photo-based iPad apps. Through the discussions and demonstrations of the highlighted apps, parents and speech-language pathologists will learn how to manipulate personal photos in an effort to motivate and teach the young learners in their lives.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

AAC Strategies for Apraxia

Presented By:  Marleah Herman-Umpleby, M.S., CCC-SLP and Stephanie Ekis, M.S., CCC-SLP

This session will provide 10 easy to implement suggestions for using AAC technology, and supports to encourage language and literacy growth in individuals with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). The importance of social and meaningful interactions (and not just requests!), literacy development, curriculum supports and resources will all be discussed. Information and valuable tools about being a great communication partner will also be shared to help families and teams provide optimal circumstances for growth, literacy and engagement. AAC does not have to be presented *instead* of use of natural speech for individuals with CAS. Watch this session to learn more about the benefits of using it as a part of a speech and language intervention program!

Focus on Communicating: Speech and AAC Systems can Co-Exist

Presented By:  Anne Kuhlmeier, M.A., CCC-SLP

Your child has an AAC system (communication book, iPad with communication App, dedicated speech generating device) and now you are struggling with implementing it as a successful communication tool. Speech is your end goal, however it isn’t coming fast enough and the child is becoming more frustrated. How do you balance using this AAC system with your speech goals? How do you encourage educational staff to use this AAC system with this child?

Most communication partners have been trained to model for speech, however when it comes to implementing AAC systems they fall back to quizzing the AAC User on receptive vocabulary. The focus becomes finding vocabulary and not using it purposefully. Using the AAC system is akin to talking in a foreign language. Recognizing communication opportunities and building communication can be different when you are utilizing an AAC system. And while speech is still your end goal, getting to the goal line is often like crossing a mine field. This presentation will focus on evaluating the environment needs and developing a plan for implementing the AAC system (regardless of whether it is high or low tech!), techniques useful to help facilitate use of the AAC system and balance speech needs, and what communication partners should know when talking with an AAC User.

Download Presentation Handouts Here

ARTICLES FROM THE APRAXIA KIDS FREE ARTICLE LIBRARY

”What About Sign Language, Speech Tablets, and Other Communication Forms?” is written by a diverse group of contributors and has a large amount of info about the use of sign language and a variety of Augmentative and Alternative Communication options including iPads and dedicated speech generating devices.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/what-about-sign-language-speech-tablets-and-other-communication-forms/

 

“Apps for Kids with Apraxia” includes a resource list of a variety of apps to use for specific needs of your child.

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/apps-for-kids-with-apraxia/

 


What apps should I use?

If you decide to use a tablet/iPad for a communication device, your SLP can likely suggest a few apps you can try! Apps should be used with therapist and/or parent supervision to support the child’s speech practice or assist them in their communication attempts. Some apps are for speech practice, while others are for providing an augmentative/alternative communication tool.

We collaborated with Penn State Health to put together a FREE App Guide to help you get started on your app search! Check it out here!

https://www.apraxia-kids.org/apraxia_kids_library/apps-for-kids-with-apraxia/

 

 

App Discounts

Many app makers are offering discounts on their products during AAC Awareness Month this October. Keep your eyes out for sales on products that you’re interested in! Here are a few that have announced they will have upcoming sales:

AssistiveWare
October 12-16, 2020
50% Discount on Proloquo2Go, Gateway Vocabulary, Proloquo4Text, Keeble, Pictello, and AAC Training Videos
https://www.assistiveware.com/blog/aac-awareness-month-discount-2020?fbclid=IwAR0iJicYyn4noOZF9GsiMZK_fR_yip2Vexq3WFBfHV447mu5eU0c71Kx0mc

TouchChat
October 14-18, 2020
50% Discount https://touchchatapp.com/blog#:~:text=Celebrate%20AAC%20Awareness%20Month%20with%2050%25%20Off%20TouchChat%C2%AE!,-Sep%2023%2C%202020&text=See%20below%20for%20details.,on%20the%20U.S.%20App%20Store

LAMP Words for Life
October 14-18, 2020
50% Discount
https://www.prentrom.com/articles/aac-awareness-month-50-percent-off-lamp-words-for-life?mode=view

 

Other AAC Options

AAC just means you are communicating in a way other than speech. That doesn’t mean you need the fanciest iPad or most expensive app. You can also use sign language or picture cards.

PrAACtical AAC
Tips, resources, and free downloads
https://praacticalaac.org/

Amy Speech & Language Therapy, Inc.
Free AAC Downloads
https://www.amyspeechlanguagetherapy.com/communication-boards.html

School Health
Various AAC options for purchase
https://www.schoolhealth.com/all-products/special-education/augmentative-alternative-communication

Gallaudet University
Learn basic American Sign Language (ASL) online with free categorized videos
https://www.gallaudet.edu/asl-connect/asl-for-free/asl-by-topic

Together, we are working to help make the world a more accepting place for all children with apraxia of speech. While our vision is a world where all children with apraxia reach their highest communication potential, we must not lose sight of those children, teens, and adults who require the use of AAC to reach this potential. We must remember that everyone deserves a voice!

 

Disclaimer:
Aligned with our mission, Apraxia Kids does not endorse any one method, program, or approach. Rather, we share information so families and professionals can make informed choices for children with CAS as they work to find their voices.



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