This was an exciting week in our AAC classroom because we really got to focus on the concept of opinions. Different people have different feelings about what feels and smells good or bad and we were able to assign the words “yum” or “yuck” to them pretty readily! We were pretty split on whether or […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week 6: Touch & Smell"
Meet Katya. She is a bright and vivacious 12-year-old girl. She spent the first six years of her life in a Ukrainian orphanage. The opinion of the orphanage staff was that she had “nothing in her head” and was therefore severely understimulated and necessary surgeries were neglected. Katya came home to her forever family at […]Read more "Katya’s AAC Journey"
Week 5 in our Immersive AAC Class was a short one because of the 4th of July holidays but we had a great time learning about and experimenting with color. One of our favorite activities was making baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. We added glitter and food coloring to make it them colorful. The students […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week 5: Color!"
The theme of this week’s Immersive AAC Class was WATER! We splashed, sprayed and sprinkled water all over the classroom. The favorite activity of the week was a simple one: dropping objects into a tub of water! We guessed whether they would sink “down” in or float “on” the the water. The kids loved taking turns […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week Four: Water!"
Our third week of the Immersive AAC Class focused on things that SPIN! We had so many fun options that we didn’t actually get through all of our lesson plans! The favorite activity by far was using the Astronaut Board we borrowed from the OT department. Students used the word “go” or phrase “turn me” […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week Three: SPIN!"
Week two of the Immersive AAC Class was a blast! We talked about flying and falling which were excellent opportunities to work on the words “up” and “down.” Our plans for the week were pretty packed: Favorite activities this week included: Blowing up helium balloons and releasing them to the ceiling. This was the most […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week Two: Flight & Gravity"
The special education field has embraced the unenlightened theme of heroism. As professionals we are often called “heroes” and praised for our patience and big hearts. We pride ourselves in “transforming lives” and “shaping futures.” Our skills and education are praised as “superpowers.” I am uncomfortable with these terms describing myself as a professional but […]Read more "Don’t be a hero"
Bridgeway Academy’s summer camp program kicked off this week and so did our Immersive AAC class. Our theme this week was LIGHT! Some of the favorite activities this week were: Putting finger lights in balloons to make them illuminate in the dark. We used this opportunity to work on single words “on,” “in,” “more,” and “big” […]Read more "Immersive AAC Class Week One: Light!"
“You’re not going to believe this!” “Did that just happen?!” “That’s unbelievable!” Seemingly innocuous, these common expressions are close cousins to some much more dangerous phrases that also run rampant in the special education community: “He can’t do that,” “She’ll never be able to crawl, let alone walk,” “We won’t be able to teach her […]Read more "Stop being incredulous; start presuming competence"
Last summer some colleagues from Bridgeway Academy and I, along with researchers from The Ohio State University, piloted what we called an “immersive AAC classroom” in which all of the students used speech-generating devices and aided input was provided on an interactive white board. We collected data on the students’ vocabulary and their frequency of […]Read more "Immersive AAC Classroom"