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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Comments Are Cool – AAC Fun!

What?   Krista Howard and I are working on a series of short books to support teachers, therapists, and families who are supporting individuals who use AAC.  These books are free to anyone, and have been  'published' at:  www.tarheelreader.org.   One of these books is titled Comments Are Cool.

Why?   These books are intended to painlessly support partners in helping learners:
Understand why this skill – being an active listener by commenting on events – is important.  (See Light and Binger, 1988, and Soto and Zangari, 2009 for more information).  It is helpful for both the teaching partners and the students who use AAC to understand why we are working on these goals.  Having cognitive clarity about goals helps people understand what we are doing, and what it will help them accomplish.  These goals are shared through 'advice from Krista' speech bubbles, such as those shown below.

Practice the skills we are sharing.  Students get an opportunity to actually try out the skill of commenting through visual prompts, such as those shown here.  In each case, the learner gets to practice, based on the image and the prompt. 

Examples of the skills we are sharing.  Following each image, we give two examples of possible comments.  The first is very simple (typically only one word), while the second is more sophisticated (longer, and with less frequent words).  Using multiple examples serves two purposes:

1) Demonstrates that a range of compliments are appropriate, and helps learners not to get 'stuck' with one specific example.

2) Models sample comments for students at different levels of AAC use.

Have Fun!  So, what are you waiting for?  Start commenting!


Erickson, K. and Koppenhaver, D.  (2020).  Comprehensive Literacy for All:  Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities How to Read and Write.  Baltimore:  Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

Light, J. and Binger, C.  (1988).  Building Communicative Competence with Individuals Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  Baltimore:  Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

Soto, G. and Zangari, C.  (2009).  Practically Speaking:  Language, Literacy, and Academic Development for Students with AAC Needs.  Baltimore:  Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.