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  • Your Child and AAC: One Mother’s Tips for Success

    Elizabeth Kenkel is a 21-year-old young woman with Moebius Syndrome and cerebral palsy who no longer has to rely on anyone to share her ideas, thoughts and feelings thanks to her speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Her mother, Sandra Kenkel, shares the following tips for other parents of children using ...
    Posted to Speech and Hearing Perspectives (Weblog) on June 30, 2015
  • Speaking and Being Heard

    In the early days of my career, I apprenticed with a clinician who specialized in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She was highly skilled and in tune with her clients, who used forms of AAC to communicate. One day, a young girl arrived for her therapy appointment. The girl wore ankle/foot orthotics on both legs and had a stilted ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on June 18, 2015
  • A Wish List for the Future of AAC

    Over the past year I have had the opportunity to share much of my thoughts and practices with you. I’ve had the opportunity to share stories of success as well as those that were tough learning experiences. Today, I would like to share my vision of the future. Some things on my list I know are in the works, but have not yet reached my door ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on March 6, 2015
  • The Gift of Being an Anxious New Mom

    I feel very fortunate to have battled my own bouts of anxiety and the baby blues with the birth of one of my own children. When I was suffering of this debilitating battle, I would wonder why? Why me? It's hard enough being a new mother of a baby that needs me 24/7, she cries, she poops—she never takes a break! Why, on top of all of that, ...
    Posted to The Ins and Outs of Early Intervention (Weblog) on March 5, 2015
  • White/Gold vs. Blue/Black Dress

    Millions of people on social media and later mainstream media recently viewed a photo of a particular dress that stirred a national debate. Due to the background lighting and photographic exposure, people saw the two colors of the dress differently. For all of us who debated the colors of that dress (blue/black or white/gold), we had a ...
    Posted to Speech in the Schools (Weblog) on March 4, 2015
  • Things I Want Every Patient & Family to Know

    One of the joys of writing this blog over the past year has been the ability to share my perspective on family and patient interaction. Of course, it has been focused on my passion of giving the non-verbal a voice. So today I would like to talk specifically to those families and users that I hope to get more SLPs to serve. Here are the ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on February 25, 2015
  • When Therapy Goals Do Not Sync

    Each person that we provide therapy for has his or her challenges. Sometimes the challenge is that his or her goals do not sync with the goals we think are appropriate. Sometimes the family dynamic has too many external stressors which either reduces attendance or participation of stakeholders in therapy more than likely reducing the efficacy ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on February 18, 2015
  • What's in a Name?

    It’s always exciting when someone gets a new communication device. It’s even more exciting when they have been waiting (because the old one broke). Yesterday, Corey brought me his brand new device to set up. He looked at the student that is working with me and said, “I’ve named this one ‘Sky.’” Corey’s last communication device was named ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on January 21, 2015
  • Don't Anticipate Needs -- Teach Communication

    My husband and I were watching an old episode of Star Trek the other day about the crew of the Enterprise being caught in a time loop. The way the crew figured this out was that they started experiencing déjà vu around certain events. This episode made me think a lot about some of the special needs families I help and how they experience déjà vu ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on January 7, 2015
  • AAC: When to Use Low Tech

    Every time I write an AAC evaluation, one area that I have to address is whether a low tech option is appropriate for the communication device user. I will now give you a disclaimer: I have a bias towards the high tech Speech Generating Devices (SGDs); however, low tech options should always be considered. When should low tech items be ...
    Posted to Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC (Weblog) on December 17, 2014
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