Please share this blog with your friends and neighbors!!
Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Monday, September 12, 2016

Sound Deletion Fun - T is Terribly Important!!

Jane Farrall started what I hope will be a great trend when she wrote R is Really Important.

Find it at Tarheel Reader:
R is Really Important

The book uses 'phoneme deletion' (sometimes called sound deletion), where one phoneme is removed, leaving a different word.  The classic test is: What is left when you take /s/ from 'smile'?  Answer?  'mile'

Jane made this a fun activity, and I've been exploring it with students.  We finally published our first sound deletion book.

T is Terribly Important 


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Book Reaction: Wheeling by Reed A Booke

WHAT:  This book reaction is from a newly developed Communication Circle supporting individuals who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).  The group responded to the  Tarheel Reader book Wheeling by Reed A Booke.

To find this book, go to www.tarheelreader.org 

NOTE:  This book is rated C for Caution, so be sure to change the rating to 'Any Rating'.  Then type in the title, Wheeling, and it will show up!

WHERE:  Courtney's Place is a day center for adults with disabilities.  It has a great location in Scottsdale, AZ, and  a very active calendar,   The staff was very supportive in starting a Communication Circle.

WHO:  Today's circle included three young adults who use AAC via direct selection, eye gaze, and auditory scanning with 2 switches.  Two individuals use Unity software on a Prentke Romich device and one uses Touch Chat on an iPad.    Two speaking young adults also participated, helping to provide verbal models.

HOW:  1) First we started by showing a 'Tic Tac Talk; (from Musselwhite's Communication Circle CD).  The sample vocabulary set includes 8 comments.  We tried to find these or similar comments on each student's communication system.  For example, one young woman has VERY GOOD instead of GREAT.  Another chose to use AWESOME instead of GREAT. We practiced these words for about 5 minutes. 

2) Next, we used a cube with Post-Its such as Feelings, Positive Comments, Describing Words, Colors, etc.   When we rolled the cube, each person had to find a word on the communication system to match that category.  Speaking partners helped call out ideas for their peers.  For example, when we rolled 'Describing Words' one woman called out "pretty" and all device users found that word on their system.

3)  Next, we read the book Wheeling.  I paused often to see if the adults wanted to call out responses.  Below are some of their comments.  You can see that there was a big mix of positive and negative comments, descriptions, and feelings among the group, and they were very excited to participate!
I used the PicCollage app to visually share their responses to three of the pages.

Try this.  It's fun.


Monday, September 5, 2016

ZOYO's Frozen Yogurt:  AAC in the Community

We had so much fun at Out & About last week.

First, some of us planned ahead and came dressed in pajama's for discounts.  Awesome way for us to practice giving compliments!

Next, we met new people and practiced our social pages:  telling "about me" and asking "about you." We met a new 3 year old who is just learning to use his device.  We all agree, he is so cute!

Then, we talked about yogurt.  Katie looked up the difference on the internet and shared some notes with us.  Most interestingly, yogurt is better for your tummy and has less milk fat than ice cream.  There was no ice cream at this place!  They did have sherbet for people who cannot have milk.  We also looked this up and found out that sherbet is made from ice and fruit puree.  Not quite sure how they came up with a chocolate sherbet, so of course we had to taste that.

Everybody had a chance to taste or touch the yogurt.  Our new little guy looked and put his fingers in to share his thoughts.  Each person wrote a descriptive post-it note (just a few words, everyone with a different message depending on level of device sophistication).  The tasting cups were tiny, so we talked about sizes and how to ask for help to get a big cup with a preferred flavor in it.  That led to a discussion of toppings!

The toppings at this place were varied, from cookies and candies to fruit and nuts.  There was also a note on the wall above the gummy treats indicating "this section not Kosher."  Another opportunity to talk about choices and listening when parents (or clergy) say you can't eat something that looks good.

Finally, we ate our treats and each of us had a chance to share what we think about the choices we made for yogurt (or sherbet) and toppings.  We looked at pictures and reviews on Yelp!  I suppose I should get an official account and write up our reviews when we do these activities.  We enjoyed looking at what others had to say.  I am hoping to see a post on Sidney's blog:  http://sidneydaswick.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Workshops in Alberta Canada, September 28, Red Deer; October 3, Edmonton, & October 5, Lethbridge!

WHAT:  Three workshops in Alberta, Canada, sponsored by
Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC)

WHO:  Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Alberta Musselwhite Flyer 

Wednesday, September 28 at CrossRoads Church, Red Deer County
AAC Language Learning: Make it Fun, Make it Interactive! K-12 (https://goo.gl/7xf05Y)
This quick-paced, interactive session will support students in using core vocabulary for authentic purposes, with peers, and using repetition with variation. Strategies include: barrier communication games, combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes for all practice.

Monday, October 3 at Fantasyland Hotel, Edmonton
Communication Circles: Supporting Communicative Competence for AAC Users (http://goo.gl/neKVj1)
This learning opportunity will include lecture, demonstration, brainstorming, and case studies focusing on
‘Communication Circles’ or circles of peers who support AAC users in learning and practicing skills. These circles work with students weekly, keeping data and anecdotal notes.
Wednesday, October 5 in Lethbridge
Communication all day long! Communication Circles, Topic Setting, AAC Language and More This quick-paced, interactive session will support students in using core vocabulary for authentic purposes, with peers, and using repetition with variation. Strategies include: using RPM-GO (Rehearse, Practice, Model, Generalize), combining core vocabulary and literacy, and determining authentic purposes for all intervention. This session will also support setting up Communication Circles with peer supports, and scaffolding topic setting.