The Basics of AAC Implementation

My child has an AAC system…now what? We will go into more detailed information in future blogs, but here are some basics about implementing AAC. Vocabulary Vocabulary is an important consideration.  When we consider AAC we think about core and fringe vocabulary.  Core vocabulary is a small set of 300 words that makes up 80% of what we say, including verbs, pronouns, prepositions, describing words and question words.  Fringe vocabulary makes up 20% of what Read more…

Are There Prerequisites to AAC?

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding AAC.  So what are the prerequisites to AAC? In short…there are NONE! Let’s talk about some of the myths surrounding this idea that there are prerequisites to AAC.  A child’s cognition is too low:  This one makes me cringe!  there is not way to measure a child’s cognition if they do not have a reliable and robust means of communication.  And how are they going to develop a Read more…

Developmental Milestones

A developmental milestone is an acquired skill a child learns at a specific time in the development process. A child will develop skills before developing new skills; ultimately a child will learn new skills to build on the last milestone developed.  To monitor a child’s developmental milestones, a child’s development is broken down into five main areas: Physical Development: Gross Motor Skills – movements related to large muscle groups, such as arms, legs, and trunk Read more…

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication? Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or use gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.  AAC includes unaided and aided communication.  Unaided communication includes methods of communication that rely on a person’s body to communicate including facial expressions, gestures, body movements, vocalizations, Read more…

What Is Physical Therapy?

What is pediatric physical therapy? Physical therapists are healthcare professionals who use their education in movement and clinical reasoning to provide examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention services to individuals of all ages. A physical therapist is educated to help patients improve or restore mobility, manage their condition, decrease pain, and prevent disability. More specifically, pediatric physical therapists work with children and their families to promote functional independence and participation in home, school, and community environments.  Read more…

October is AAC Awareness Month

October is AAC Awareness Month!  Throughout he month, we will be posting AAC quotes, resources and links to blogs to spread the word about AAC!   What is AAC you ask?  Augmentative and Alternative Communication! Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or use gestures, use symbols or pictures, Read more…

New walkers and foot development

There is nothing quite like watching your little one take his or her first steps… This little human who has been exploring their world on hands and knees is now toddling around upright! As a pediatric physical therapist, I am often present for the achievement of this exciting milestone! In my experience, many parents believe that their child should be wearing shoes as soon as they take their first steps, if not before. “Maybe if Read more…

Garden Fun!

We had our second session of our monthly AAC groups as part of our Rett Syndrome and Related Disorders Communication Program.  This time we had our group for 5-9 year olds and our group for 12-16 year olds.  We read a book and did some predictable chart writing, and then we painted pots and planted flowers.  So much fun!

AAC: How Do I Teach It? Aided Language Input

What is aided language input? During aided language input, communication partners highlight symbols on the AAC system as they interact verbally with the person using AAC with a goal to teach language. (Goosens, Crain, Elder, 1992, 1994) Basically, you are using the device to talk to your child, just as you expect your child to use the device to talk to you and others. How do I do it? Choose target words, and activate those Read more…

Group Fun!!

We had our first monthly group as part of our new Rett Syndrome and Related Disorders Communication Program!  We made flower crowns, had a dance party and explored different colors and flavors of chapstick, using our eye gaze devices to talk about it.  Everyone had so much fun!!