Partner Strategy Mini Training Kits

Partner Strategy Kits

AAC Partner Strategy Kits are engaging posters/handouts, descriptions and short videos explaining and modeling techniques for you to use to help your student be willing, and able to communicate using their AAC system!

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Partner Strategy Mini Training Kits

In 1980 Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish wrote a parenting book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk where they introduced strategies to help parents encourage their children to engage in meaningful conversations with them.  Interestingly, many of the currently relevant interaction tips we share with professionals are reminiscent of the concepts in this 40 year old book! We want to give our therapists, teachers, paraprofessionals and PARENTS an easy way to learn about and try these techniques which are based on research and clinical practice, to help our students WANT to communicate with us!  Our Partner Strategy Kits are designed with this idea in mind!  Each kit has a video explainer and example.

You'll also find a flyer you can share with your team and families OR hang on your wall as a reminder!  Keep tuned as we build these kits to share with you!

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Home Communication Support Modules

Communication is learned first and foremost in the home.  Our families need materials and supports to help them help their own children at home.  These modules include resources and ideas to get those families on board and talking!

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Academic Team Training Modules

This set of modules gives you material and resources to take charge of your own professional learning.  Staff without time or funds to travel to conferences, or attend after school workshops need ways to access training material.  We will discuss ways to access these types of trainings, and provide some right here!

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Comprehensive Literacy Support Modules

This set of modules discusses literacy, arguably one of the most important skills we can teach students. The ability to read and write using traditional text allows students to communicate and learn, imperative skills  for students with additional challenges. We have years of research showing the discrepancy in literacy instruction between students in general education and those in special education.  These resources help us narrow that gap! Most of the resources we share follow a 4-Blocks for Literacy model, which has been adapted and modified for students with special needs.

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Classroom Communication Checklist 2.0 START HERE!

The Classroom Communication Checklist is a tool developed to identify communication supports in place in the classroom and to determine potential supports which may be of value to add into the existing program.  This planning tool helps teachers & administrators consider a variety of supports to help their students communicate effectively in the classroom.  ​Download, save and use as a writeable form!

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Student Participation Support Modules (SP)

These modules include tools we use to help students understand what is expected of them and to help them comfortably and cooperatively complete tasks to move throughout their daily activities.  We are concerning ourselves with giving students information in a way they can understand, and teaching them tools to help them function in the academic environment.  We are striving for independence, cooperation and communication, NOT compliance. We often add visual elements to support our verbal explanations and directions.

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Simple Communication Support Modules (SC)

These modules help you develop a variety of communication displays for your classroom so that ALL children can communicate ALL the time.  You'll find large displays that allow you to "talk" to your students pointing to symbols as  you speak. Turning your classroom into a giant communication "system" makes it easy for you to model communicating using AAC to students learning to use their own personal AAC systems. Each student has their own comprehensive communication system too, so that they can follow along and talk when they want to as well!

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Robust AAC Systems Modules

This set of modules help you support robust communication systems.  These include tablet based AAC applications, speech generating devices and comprehensive communication books.  Robust systems are ones that include all a comprehensive set of vocabulary, core words, alphabet/keyboards, and support for sentence building.  These systems support language development for all students, replace absent or insufficient speech and assist students with intelligibility challenges.

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Adapted Academic & Communication Curriculum Modules

One of the biggest challenges teachers face is the lack of appropriate, standard cross-subject curriculum in self-contained special education classrooms. Many teachers are doing an amazing job creating curriculum from scratch year after year.  This module is looking at several curriculum options for communication, academics and literacy, which are presented in a standardized manner to help  you use your time teaching rather than creating curriculum.

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In 1980 Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish wrote a parenting book, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk where they introduced strategies to help parents encourage their children to engage in meaningful conversations with them.  Interestingly, many of the currently relevant interaction tips we share with professionals are reminiscent of the concepts in this 40 year old book! We want to give our therapists, teachers, paraprofessionals and PARENTS an easy way to learn about and try these techniques which are based on research and clinical practice, to help our students WANT to communicate with us!  Our Partner Strategy Kits are designed with this idea in mind!  Each kit has a video explainer and example.

You'll also find a flyer you can share with your team and families OR hang on your wall as a reminder!  Keep tuned as we build these kits to share with you!

Beyond Yes and No

It’s very easy to get caught in the habit of asking questions that only require a “yes” or “no” response when you are talking to your student using AAC. Why? Let's take a look at another way to get those questions answered!

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Communication Temptations

How do you encourage spontaneous communication?  Sometimes it’s as simple as setting up a situation that gives your student an interesting reason to communicate!

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Descriptive Teaching Strategy

The Descriptive Teaching Model is a strategy that teaches students to use high-frequency, common words rather than more rarely used words.

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Expansion Strategy

After you've been modeling AAC use for a bit, you can help your students learn more words! Expansion strategy just means giving them a model of a little longer message!

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Expectant Pause Strategy

Is it really as simple and being quiet and listening?  Yes!  Sometimes just waiting 10-15 seconds is all it takes to encourage our student to begin to use their AAC system to tell us something!

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Modeling AAC: Aided Language Input

Modeling AAC is one of the most research supported ways we can help our students learn to talk to us using their AAC system. Just as an infant learns the meaning of words and the act of communicating by watching and listening to their parents; a person learning to communicate using AAC needs to be able to watch and listen to other people communicating by pointing to symbols.

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Consistent Access to AAC

In the Partner Strategy Kit, we are focusing on making sure we are giving our students consistent access to a means to communicate, everywhere! AAC users require access to their AAC all day, every day. This is not only the best way for them to learn, but also it is necessary access to their voice. We want our AAC users to be able to say what they want whenever they want!

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Respect & Reflect

In this video mini-training, we are discussing the Senner & Baud strategy,, Respect and Reflect.  This is a simple concept!  We partners will "listen" to our student's natural communication: facial expression, body language, behaviors and sounds, and then acknowledge and respond to it.  NEXT we will give them a model of another way they could also say their message! This is a wonderful teaching strategy to expose students to additional communication methods, on topics of their own choosing!

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Basic Core Word Trainings

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