The DYnamic Therapy Associates Blog
Hello, all! This post was inspired by Kate Ahern’s session titled “Bringing AAC Home” at ATIA in Orlando that Vicki and I attended. She had some great ideas and insight about our kiddos using their AAC devices at home and in the community. Many of us don’t have the opportunity to provide services to our clients outside the speech clinic (at home, in the community, at school), so we don’t always know how much their voice is heard when we aren’t in therapy. This does not mean, of course, that their needs aren’t met. I understand there are many things that need to be done at home and using an AAC device can sometime s be viewed as “homework” that may or may not get done.
Holly and Vicki are at it again with the new and improved Dynamic AAC Goals Grid, hot off the presses at Dynavox! We will be presenting a FREE webinar through Dynavox on May 21st from 12-1 to introduce (and SHARE!) the newest tool for assessing communicative competence and writing goals for AAC users. CEUs are available for ASHA certified speech language pathologists.
Description: In the era of Evidence Based Practice, are you struggling to come up with applicable, research-based IEP objectives for your AAC students? Need to show measurable progress to insurance and Medicaid to validate your work? Learn how to use a Dynamic AAC Goals Grid to choose appropriate, measurable AAC goals to meet patient needs and document their gains. The revised Dynamic AAC Goals Grid (DAGG-2) includes five communication ability levels with over 100 goals addressing Linguistic, Operational, Social and Strategic competency as well as additional components for writing long and short-term goals. Using real-life case studies, this session will highlight using the DAGG-2 for initial assessment, goal writing and measuring progress. This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area). This course will be recorded and available for CEUs within 48 hours of the live session.
Debbie Dobbs is an advocate in our area who assists families of special needs children. She is offering a much needed workshop on acquiring the Deeming Waiver. Here are the details she sent us:
"Learn exactly what you need to do in order to fill out the application in an interactive format. Friday May 9th from 10-1 I will be speaking at the FOCUS office and will help families understand the application process for the Katie Beckett Medicaid Deeming Waiver. RSVP to Elizabeth firstname.lastname@example.org or call FOCUS for more details at 770-234-9111. Limited seating available."
The first text-2-speech app on our blog, Predictable is the Bomb! (for you Brits, that means I like it a lot:) I love the features of this app. Direct selection, scanning with switch and scanning by touchscreen. Users have a traditional keyboard with solid word prediction (hence the name, I'm guessing!) and a "dyslexia setting" that predicts words that are misspelled. What a great feature! More to come on this subject after I test it out with my favorite patient with dyslexia.
Predictable also includes additional messaging options. You can copy and paste your messages from the app. An added bonus for us social media fans: simple access to Twitter, Facebook and texting (and email if that's how you roll).. I just tweeted my first tweet from Predictable and had a "favorite" in less than 30 seconds. Clearly a good interface.
The traditional feature of this app are slick as well. Access methods include direct selection, scanning with switch and scanning by touchscreen. Messaging options include the keyboard and word prediction, of course, but also user modifiable stored phrases to increase rate of communication. There is a history feature so users can quickly access frequently constructed messages as well.
A very solid AAC app for our spelling friends!
Disclosure: DTA is a resource center for Therapy Box Apps as well as a variety of other AAC app developers and device manufacturers. We have long term loans for dedicated devices and professional AAC apps donated to our clinic for patient trials.
Compass comes with its own research based core word pages but also gives families and professionals the option of using either Gateway or WordPower for sentence building (core word strategy). The Compass Core Word set is a little harder for us to get used to, primarily because it is presented in a different format than the traditional Gateway and WordPower we've seen for many years. I did a little reading and asking around and found that there is a lot of research out there about the need for core word instruction but not so much about HOW we're supposed to do it. I am curious how the strategy in Compass works for our patients. The hardest part about this particular method of displaying core words is simply that there are no visual cues for word meaning, category or order in a sentence. Is that bad? I'm not sure, but as a therapist I depend on using visual cues to teach, so I'm struggling a bit with this format. For now, I'm defaulting back to my comfort zone with WordPower and Gateway but I'm not writing off the new Core format quite yet.
Disclosure: DTA is a high volume AAC evaluation center. As such we have long term loans for dedicated speech generating devices and professional AAC apps donated to our clinic for patient trials.
About the Author: I am a SLP who has the distinct fortune of having a job that is also my passion. I have been an AAC Specialist for almost 25 years in schools and my private clinic. I currently own Dynamic Therapy with my husband, Chuck (also of 25 years) who is my business partner and enabler. We have a wonderful staff of SLPs & AAC Specialists who work with us to help our patients. I hope you find my blog helpful as you join me in our journey with our unique and amazing friends! Vicki Clarke, MS CCC-SLP