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Early Intervention Speech Therapy

AAC for Preschoolers (Continued)

Published December 27, 2011 8:58 AM by Stephanie Bruno-Dowling

Over the last two weeks we have been discussing the specific use of iPads with preschoolers and many of you have written in with wonderful ideas, suggestions and your own personal preferences for various apps for children ages 3-5. Thank you!

In last week's post, I shared the entire process that we follow in our county when obtaining an AAC device for a child. As the only SLP in our preschool, it is specifically my job to complete the forms, schedule the meetings, contact the team and family members, learn the device and then train the child so that they can effectively use the tool to help them communicate. Fortunately, I also have a contact person from the county to help me evaluate the child's overall skill level, including all developmental domains, so we can effectively choose the most appropriate tool for the child.

Last week, Jennifer from Eugene, Oregon specifically asked to get a look at the information form I complete and hand in to our AAC county representative for each student when they formally enter the AAC process. Unfortunately, I am not able to post the actual form at this time; however, here is a complete overview of the form contents:

  • Basic information: Child's name, age, medical conditions/diagnosis
  • Strengths and weaknesses: An overview of what the child does well, as well as what he or she struggles with most.
  • An overview of the child's educational program (a snapshot of his/her day and what he/she is expected to do -- very important and will help to determine the communication needs of the child throughout the day).
    Here is a shortened version:

    • Enter school -- need to hang up coat and book bag and put lunch/snack away
    • Tabletop activity -- need to sit at the table with peers and follow teacher directives -- fine motor
    • Free play/centers -- indoor play with peers
    • Circle time -- sit with peers as a group, follow along with teacher and answer questions (calendar, weather, etc.)
    • Lunch/snack time -- asking for help, conversation with peers
    • Playground/gross motor time -- play outside or indoor motor room
    • Free play/centers -- indoor play with peers 
    • Goodbye circle -- sit with peers as a group, follow along with teacher, music and say goodbye
  • Educational needs of the child -- is he/she receiving special education and if so, in what areas? Does he/she receive speech, OT, PT, vision, hearing services? If so, what are his/her needs and how may it impact the ability to use various AAC devices?
  • The family's goals for its child
  • Describe if the child currently uses or has used some form of AAC

I hope that you find the overview of the form helpful and thorough. Please let me know if you have any questions about it. Also, if your program looks at other aspects of the child's development and you think it would be helpful information to share, please do so!

Hope everyone had a joyful Christmas!


Need info,.4 yr old with DS, in public preschool, Kentucky medical card, how can I get them to assist with pymt of Ipad as assistive tech device?%0d%0a

lela hale December 27, 2011 12:57 PM

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About this Blog

    Stephanie Bruno Dowling, M.S. CCC-SLP
    Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
    Setting: Early Intervention in Delaware County, PA
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