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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Thursday, October 31, 2013

AAC Language Lab Website

This wonderful resource from the Prentke Romich Company provides a vast array of resources to support people who use AAC, regardless of the system they use – AND for their parents, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), and educators!

The website includes both free materials and an extensive array of support materials on a subscription basis.

Categories include:
LESSON PLANS:  Offer materials such as books, games, Smart Charts (showing how to find a target set of language on a device), and Common Core Standards by grade level.

LANGUAGE STAGES:  Specialized information for parents, SLPs, and educators, showing how to support students at language Stages 1 – 6.

RESOURCES:  Again, resources are provided targeted to parents, SLPs, and educators.  For example, a free resource is an article explaining core words, while a subscription activity presents A Year of Core Words (materials to teach 144 core word across a year, including Smart Charts).

LANGUAGE BLOG:  This free section offers AAC Success Stories to Making AAC Work – tips from Jane Odom, with blog posts from Model, Model, Model to Talk Like a Pirate!  People who use AAC and family members can also contribute to this free blog section!

APPLAB:  Info about apps created to support students using AAC at various stages.

This website is DEFINITELY worth the subscription price of $84 a year ($7 a month!)

Preparing For The Future: Snoopi's Corner

Hi everyone! I am trying to write a blog every month but it's not working and I feel like sharing why. A little over a year ago, my health started to go downhill. Part of it was from nerve damage and part of it is from reoccurring infection. I've been in and out of the hospital about every other week for the past year. I'm finally getting a little better but most of the time I am in a lot of pain. My pain level is so high that I can't do anything.

The hardest thing for me to do right now is use my communication device. I never thought I wouldn't be able to use my hands. So I always had a lot of icons at one time and right now I wish I had only about 15 icons. That way I could very easily say "I need help", "I can't reach my call button", "Help me fill out my menu", and I don't know what else I might say. My point is, I feel everyone should have an easy way to say something. That way when they are in bed and don't feel well, they can just hit one icon and say something. Everyone might want something different. You might want to think about what you would want to say when you don't feel well. That way you can do it with very little effort.

Nobody sent me any questions in October. So I want to remind everyone that they can email me questions about AAC and I will do my best to answer them. You can email them to

Thank you and happy holidays.

Snoopi Botten

Caroline’s Comments:

Snoopi’s blog also helps us ALL think about providing light tech backup systems for everyone who uses a device, to be used during those times when the AAC device is not available, or when individuals are not positioned in a way that allows easy access.

Snoopi, I was wondering if you could make a link that would take you to an alphabet on 2 pages:  For example:  Page 1 = A – O;  Page 2 = P – Z + space, delete, etc.  Fifteen location alphabet displays are already included in many communication devices.  This would give you an easier way to be able to write when you’re limited to 15 locations.  Just a thought!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guided Reading Comprehension: Data Form

Guided Reading Comprehension:  Data Form
Guided Reading: Comprehension Data Form
• Open this picture of a data form on your iPad
• Go to DoodleBuddy
Click to get a new picture
Select Photos / Camera Roll
• Click on the picture of the data form
• Now use stickers or drawing to mark student choices


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gretchen Hanser Alphabet Handout - CTG 13

Gretchen Hanser's Interactive Alphabet Instruction Handout - CTG 2013

Download the handout here:
Hanser's Alphabet Handout

Thursday, October 3, 2013


INTRO:  Okay, this is not just a political statement.  I’m talking about students who use AAC.  We know that students who use AAC are typically not great at asking questions.  There are so many wonderful ways to work on asking questions, such as interviews, role play, and using fun apps such as Fortune Ball, Who’s Your Mummy, Magic Coke Bottle, and Ask Ya Mummy (see reviews at:

QUESTIONS AS PART OF SHARED READING:  Another super easy way to help students practice questions is to include questioning as part of Shared Reading.  Here is more information:
How Do We Do It?  While we read a variety of highly motivating books on the iPad (ex:  Booksy, Humpback Whales;  Storytime for Kids;  Meet Heckerty) on the iPad, and Evelyn used her Eco with eye gaze to ask questions.  The questions she asked were not important – the important factor was that we had to TRY to answer them.  For example:  Whales story – WHERE?  ‘I think they’re in the ocean – I think it’s the Pacific Ocean’;  Sharks Story:  WHO?  ‘I don’t know too many sharks.  The one I know the most about is Jaws.  Do you know who he is?

What Are We Accomplishing?  In addition to giving students a chance to practice questions, we are:
-       Building background knowledge for future books
-       Developing text-to-world connections
-       Modeling how to answer WH-Questions

Share-Back the Information:  It helps if the information is not so fleeting.  These activities help to support students in remembering what we have shared.  Here are two examples for capturing the information for future use:
-       Explain Everything: We put the information into a slide with the whale, then recorded it verbally with text highlighting, and saved it as a movie that students can watch repeatedly.

-       Path On – Swipe to Type:  We picked a fun shark graphic, then wrote a summary of our information around the shark.