UA-115456113-1 Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
Talking With Tech AAC Podcast
Erin Sheldon & Karen Erickson: Why Literacy Matters for People with Significant Disabilities - Part II

Erin Sheldon & Karen Erickson: Why Literacy Matters for People with Significant Disabilities - Part II

October 15, 2020

This week, we share Part II of Erin Sheldon’s interview with Karen Erickson! In this fascinating second half, Erin and Karen talk about emergent vs conventional literacy, and four indicators that maximize the likelihood of success with conventional literacy instruction (e.g., phonics, decoding, spelling):

 

  1. Does this child know most of the letters most of the time?
  2. Does the child have a means of communication and interaction?
  3. Are they interested and engaged during shared reading (when not given a reinforcer)?
  4. Is there an understanding that writing is about letters and words?

 

Erin and Karen also discuss the benefits of inclusion for everyone in the classroom, and why Project Core is a universal, Tier 1 solution for teaching symbol-based communication. 

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss one of Rachel’s clients whose family had no idea that the client had the ability to read and write. Rachel and Chris talk about the importance of doing foundational assessments to see what clients know, why incorporating books into therapy is so important, and the benefits of bringing in a reading specialist. They also touch upon dealing with a family who feels guilt that they did not understand how to help their child sooner.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 It’s important to let your client pick what to read in therapy. If we are to develop a love for reading, it’s better with a book that interests them. Epic books is one way to search for interesting books (and it's free for educators).

 

🔑 If we say a student “isn’t ready yet” for high-tech AAC, there needs to be a plan for how we will get there. If we only provide low-tech supports with no core words, there may be no pathway to robust AAC. 

 

🔑 If we are trialing a device with someone who has never learned core words, we can’t expect them to use their device right away.  If we teach core words to everyone with complex communication needs with or without a device, they are better prepared to use a device at a later point. 

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Erin Sheldon & Karen Erickson: Why Literacy Matters for People with Significant Disabilities - Part I

Erin Sheldon & Karen Erickson: Why Literacy Matters for People with Significant Disabilities - Part I

October 7, 2020

This week, TWT presents part 1 of special education specialist Erin Sheldon’s amazing interview with literacy expert Dr. Karen Erickson on promoting literacy for people with significant disabilities, including deaf/blindness and severe intellectual disability. They talk about supporting access to grade level standards for kids with complex needs, the problem of the candidacy model, why literacy is critical for everyone's well being, and more!

 

Before the interview, Rachel shares about meeting Hannah Foley virtually and how Rachel was able to connect Hannah with one of her clients. She shares about all of the ways that meeting a proficient AAC user motivated her client (and her client’s circle of support) to work even harder to achieve AAC proficiency. 

 

Key ideas this week: 

 

🔑 We can teach reading and writing every day to every person. It’s not easy and it may take longer, but it isn’t impossible. There are people with significant disabilities that read and write every day. 

 

🔑 Without literacy, a person with significant disabilities may lose the ability to connect with friends who have moved away after school. We want people to be engaged and happy when they are 25, not just when they are 10. Literacy is the way that we socially connect now. 

 

🔑 “Presume competence” doesn’t mean “presume there is no disability”. We don’t want to presume people with significant disabilities will learn the same way in the same amount of time. We should presume potential and that there is a path to success. 

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

 

Smiles for Speech provides children with special needs living in impoverished communities with the therapeutic intervention and  resources they need to enhance their ability to reach their full potential. Contact them at sfsvirtual@smilesforspeech.org to sign up for their upcoming dyslexia workshop on October 10th!

Kaylie Gustafson: Supporting Eye Gaze Users Through Telepractice

Kaylie Gustafson: Supporting Eye Gaze Users Through Telepractice

September 30, 2020

This week, Rachel interviews Kaylie Gustafson, an SLP and AAC specialist in the schools who frequently works with AAC users who utilize eye tracking. Kaylie talks about remote modeling over Zoom using the “remote control” feature, which allows her to model on the user’s device and watch what the user does in response. Kaylie shares lots of tips and tricks for supporting eye gaze, including turning on visual/auditory selection feedback, using Boom Cards and Google Slides with eye gaze, positioning and calibration during telepractice, and more! 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel talk about their recent presentation,“Talking With Tech Live.” During TWTL, they answered questions along with the participants and “crowdshared” the presentation, allowing the community to help each other learn! Rachel and Chris share their thoughts about this format and promise to air segments from this presentation in upcoming episodes of TWT!

 

Key ideas this episode:

 

🔑 You can model on an AAC user’s iPad during telepractice by using the “remote control” feature on Zoom. Learn more here.

 

🔑 Help Kidz Learn is membership service with lots of activities and games for a variety of access methods, including switch, eye gaze, mouse, and touch.

 

🔑 Ian Bean’s SENict Resources page has an excellent (free!) selection of online activities for switch, touch screen, mouse, and eye gaze that can be used in therapy and assessments. 

 

More Links:

 

Access to Education conference 

 

Gassy Gary Powerpoint on TpT

 

Assistive Touch 

 

How to Annotate in Zoom

 

Toy Theatre 

 

Crickweb 

 

Playlists on Rachel's YouTube Channel

Shawnda Saul: Telepractice AAC Coaching for Teachers, Parents, and Staff

Shawnda Saul: Telepractice AAC Coaching for Teachers, Parents, and Staff

September 23, 2020

This week, Chris interviews Shawnda Saul, an SLP and AAC Specialist who runs the Learning Language AAC Initiative for Arlington Public Schools. Chris and Shawnda discuss how she promotes modeling and language instruction in the classroom, her approach to coaching communication partners, the changes she has seen coaching families during distance learning, and more!

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel talk about rethinking how we educate students. Teaching is still thought of as presenting information to a class from the front of the classroom and having students spit that information back on a test. For example, math instruction often has students memorize formulas and complete worksheets, even if they have dyscalculia. Chris demonstrates how we can better ground learning in functional problems, like discussing planting lettuce as a way to understand the concept of perimeters. 

 

Key ideas this week: 

 

🔑 Accurate content about the world is widely available to students, making the concept of a teacher providing information to students from the front of a classroom less relevant. Instead, we should be teaching students strategies for absorbing and evaluating content more effectively on their own. 

 

🔑 Coaching communication partners about AAC and making them I feel comfortable using a device is the most important thing clinicians supporting AAC can do.

 

🔑 For many SLPs during distance learning, a much bigger part of therapy with AAC users takes place in the home. Hopefully we can continue to reach out to families to support them after school resumes in-person and move to more of a coaching model rater than just direct therapy.

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Lauren Kravetz Bonnet & Brittany Thomas: Short-Term, High-Intensity AAC Intervention in the Schools

Lauren Kravetz Bonnet & Brittany Thomas: Short-Term, High-Intensity AAC Intervention in the Schools

September 16, 2020

This week on TWT, we share Chris’s interview with Lauren Kravetz Bonnet, an SLP & AT Specialist, and Brittany Thomas, who is also an SLP. Lauren and Brittany talk about their school-based communication program to support students with complex communication needs. This program is a short-term (i.e., less than two years), high-intensity intervention to teach young students to use their device more effectively. It is not a self-contained program; students get their support in an integrated, general education setting with in-class speech support for a large portion of the day. Lauren and Brittany share about their success with this program, the reduced need for this program as teachers embrace AAC more broadly, the importance of reflective listening with teachers and families, lessons learned training peers to become communication partners, and more!  

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss one of Rachel’s new adult clients and the bittersweet experience of seeing the potential in the client but also seeing the time that was lost to poor AAC implementation. Rachel’s client uses some sign language and has had a device for many years, but he arrived without many skills using the device. The  device was difficult to navigate and was not optimized for motor planning, and parents said that when they started using the device “he didn’t want to use it.” Rachel shares about the many great signs that AAC will be successful, including that the client pays a lot of attention to communication and is a quick learner. Finally, Rachel shares about the changes she has made to his device template and how she has improved implementation at home.

 

Key ideas this week include:

 

🔑 Building rapport with school staff is a big part of Brittany and Lauren’s success. When teachers see that the device isn’t a barrier to progress in the classroom and the AT team is there to support them, they are more likely to embrace the device in the classroom.  

 

🔑 Lauren started having much greater success with teachers and staff by doing more job-embedded coaching and reflective listening to lead people to their own solutions rather than telling them what to do. This leads to greater motivation on the part of staff and less of a struggle to find success.

 

🔑 Getting school peers to engage in authentic communication with AAC users increases positive attitudes about AAC and can be really motivating to all the students involved.

 

Follow Lauren @aps_astech and Brittany @msbrittanyslp on Twitter to learn more about them and their awesome work!

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Alison Bono: Transitioning from Low Tech to High Tech AAC

Alison Bono: Transitioning from Low Tech to High Tech AAC

September 9, 2020

This week, TWT shares Rachel and Chris’s coaching call with Alison Bono! Alison is an SLP who reached out to Rachel and Chris for help working with a young student with complex communication needs. On the call, Rachel and Chris explore moving from low-tech to high-tech supports, getting teachers on board with a core language approach, integrating core words into routines, motivating the circle of support, and more! 

 

Before the coaching session, Rachel and Chris dive into Rachel’s latest “intensive” approach to supporting clients. During this approach, Rachel had observation and coaching sessions at least once a day over a two week period with a client’s circle of support, including behavior therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and parents. Rachel shares how this intensive approach gave her a new perspective on this client, provided lots of ideas for making faster progress, and gave everyone even more motivation to support the client’s use of AAC and language. 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Until Rachel observed the whole circle of support during intensive coaching, she wasn’t aware of everything that was happening with communication partners. Partners may not see that they are prompting, or that the client is not actually responding spontaneously.

 

🔑 Asking reflective questions can be more helpful than giving advice. Allowing people to think through their problems and come up with their own solutions can lead to greater ownership and change.

 

🔑 A more intensive approach harnesses the collective energy of the team and promote greater change.  Positive change in the client can then motivate the circle of support to continue improving and growing.

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Alexis Martinez & Natalie Fry: Increasing Access to AAC for Grad Students

Alexis Martinez & Natalie Fry: Increasing Access to AAC for Grad Students

September 2, 2020

This week, Chris interviews recent SLP graduates Alexis Martinez and Natalie Fry about their experience focusing on AAC in grad school and their thoughts on how AAC instruction and mentorship can be more effective for graduate students in the future. 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel answer a listener question from a parent who has multiple children who use AAC. This parent has one 3-year-old child who uses LAMP Words for Life (WFL), and another child who uses LAMP WFL - Visual Impairment. Chris and Rachel discuss integrating low tech supports into daily routines, placing those supports around the home, modeling for both kids using high-contrast symbols, and taking a few minutes to model with each child individually. 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 It may be better to have a required AAC course early in grad school, rather than later, to better prepare students for the clients they may see early in their clinical training. 

 

🔑 If an early AAC course isn’t an option, AAC and core language instruction can be embedded more into first-year graduate courses 

 

🔑 Guest speakers about AAC can include AAC specialists and local AAC product representatives.  Borrowing devices from lending libraries to be used in class is another great way to integrate AAC into graduate courses.

 

Links: 

 

Previous TWT Episodes with Parents of AAC Users: Caitlin Calder, Dana Nieder, and Erin Sheldon

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Kathy Howery: Making Modeling a Better, More Meaningful Experience

Kathy Howery: Making Modeling a Better, More Meaningful Experience

August 26, 2020

This week, Chris interviews Dr. Kathy Howery, an AAC specialist and educational consultant in Alberta, Canada. Chris and Kathy talk about modeling (aka aided language stimulation) and explore a question Kathy often gets from parents: “Is modeling getting in the way of my natural interaction with my child?” 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss a Spanish version of the AAC Agreements (habloconcaa.wordpress.com), using Microsoft Translate to communicate with someone who speaks another language, and ways that Rachel has been using Zoom to support her students in unique ways!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 We don’t want to focus so much on modeling that we don’t pay attention to what the student is doing. Modeling needs to be a child-focused interaction, not a performance activity.

 

🔑 Modeling without expectation doesn't mean that we don't pay attention to what the AAC user says or does in response. We should try and honor multi-modal communication and pay attention to what the AAC User is trying to communicate.

 

🔑 Videotaping yourself is a good way to learn about how you model with students and how much you engage in expectant pauses. It is important to inhibit our natural inclination to fill silence with talk.

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Krista Howard & Deanna Wagner: Creating a Successful Community AAC Group

Krista Howard & Deanna Wagner: Creating a Successful Community AAC Group

August 19, 2020

This week, Chris interviews Krista Howard, an AAC Technician and AAC User, and Deanna Wagner, an SLP and AT Specialist, about supporting AAC users and family members in the community through Out & About. They discuss the Out & About program, the fun they have with AAC users and family members, Krista’s work as an AT Technician with Gompers, how Krista supports AAC and literacy, and Deanna’s experiences in Singapore with AAC. 

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss dealing with parents who don’t want to provide assistive technology for their child because they see it as a “crutch.” Rachel talks about a dyslexic client who needed tools like Read&Write for Chrome and Grammerly, and how she brought the client’s parents around to supporting these important tools.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Out & About selects activities each week that support the development of communicative competence (linguistic, operational, social and strategic skills) for AAC users and their family members.

 

🔑 The leaders of Out & About share the week’s planned activities ahead of time with its members, along with key vocabulary words. This gives everyone a chance to practice and familiarize themselves with key vocabulary beforehand. 

 

🔑 One popular Out & About activity is their treasure hunt! AAC users pair up with a partner, often a family member, to take a picture of an item that they can find within a particular category. Afterwards, everyone gathers to vote on which words best match which picture!

 

You can purchase the Out & About manual by Deanna Wagner, Caroline Musselwhite, and Jane Odom on TPT here.

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

David Moehn: Supporting Students More Universally with Technology

David Moehn: Supporting Students More Universally with Technology

August 12, 2020

This week, Chris talks with Assistive Technology Specialist David Moehn about supporting general education and special education students more effectively with assistive technology (including AAC). They discuss how to train staff more effectively, supporting all students with text-to-speech and speech-to-text, the specific language system first approach, and the benefits of providing AAC and core language instruction to all students in a classroom. 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel answer a listener question: how can we make using AAC more spontaneous and expressive for a child who is accustomed to lots of hand-over-hand prompting? Chris and Rachel offer lots of helpful suggestions for making AAC more motivating, including: changing the appearance of the device, evaluating what the child is most excited about, modeling without expectation, using expected routines, and the benefits of targeting motivating sensory experiences.  

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 To tempt communication and reduce prompt dependence, combine an expectant pause with an expected routine, like “ready, set….” during a highly motivating activity.

 

🔑 Some technology supports, like Read & Write for Chrome, can be helpful for both general- and special-education students. For example, all students, not just students with dyslexia, can benefit from listening to their writing before submitting it.

 

🔑 When AAC and core language is more universally adopted in a district, consults go down over time because everyone is more accustomed to using the app. Many students also use language more expressively when modeling increases in the classroom. 

 

🔑 Look at the time spent by specialists and support staff to train vs the cost of universal deployment of a tool like Read & Write - if teachers and staff are comfortable and do not need training, then less specialist involvement is required overall. 

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Karen Wilson: Technology Supports for ADHD, Dyslexia, and Language-Learning Disorders

Karen Wilson: Technology Supports for ADHD, Dyslexia, and Language-Learning Disorders

August 5, 2020

This week’s episode features Rachel’s interview with neuropsychologist Dr. Karen Wilson!  Dr Wilson shares some of the treatment approaches and assistive technology tools she uses to support children and adults with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and language-based learning disorders. 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel answer a reader’s question looking for more on the "Specific Language System First Approach" from the TWT episode with Erik Engar. Chris tells the story of how this term came to be used, revisits some of the reasoning behind this approach, and shares some resources for learning more about it! 

 

Key ideas this week: 

 

🔑 Classroom accommodations that can help children with ADHD include: private signals between a teacher and the student to refocus attention, breaking down instructions into smaller chunks to support working memory, and eliminating distractions with strategies like preferential seating.

 

🔑 Mindfulness helps with decreasing anxiety, increasing self-regulation, and and improving focus. Using a mindfulness app before beginning schoolwork can help people with ADHD increase focus and get ready to learn.

 

🔑 Listening to audiobooks (while following along with the printed text) can help children with dyslexia improve their reading comprehension, because they can spend more effort on comprehending the material and not use up all their energy simply decoding the words.

 

Links & Tools

 

AAC Spotlight Slides:

Bit.ly/aacspotlightcb

Mindfulness:

Headspace

Calm

Stop, Breathe, Think

Breathe like a Bear book

ADHD:

Revibe watch

Dyslexia:

NaturalReader 

Kurzweil

Google Keep

Notability

Read&Write for Chrome

Co:Writer Universal

Snap & Read

Livescribe Smartpen

Top 6 digital scanner pens

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Teaching with Tech: Picseepal

Teaching with Tech: Picseepal

August 3, 2020

In this episode of Teaching with Tech, Chris and Rachel explore the Picseepal, a low-tech AAC communication tool that protects and organizes low-tech communication boards! Chris and Rachel unbox the Picseepal, talk about how they would use it in therapy, and discuss the importance of Picseepal’s goal of donating 1 million Picseepals to those in need across the world. They also discuss why laminating communication boards is not ideal for protecting communication boards, including: 1) lamination may not last very long, 2) it creates a distraction for some AAC users, 3) recreating damaged boards takes time, and 4) dirty or crumpled lamination looks less professional than a Picseepal. 

 

Links:

 

To see the video version of this episode, visit talkingwithtech.org/episodes/picseepal

 

Buy an Early Bird Picseepal at over 40% off (for a limited time) and support their global initiative at startsomegood.com/picseepal

 

Download Picseepal’s core communication board: bit.ly/picseepaldownload

 

Learn more about Picseepal: www.picseepal.com

Kevin Williams & Lateef McLeod: Black AAC User Perspectives on Racism and Disability

Kevin Williams & Lateef McLeod: Black AAC User Perspectives on Racism and Disability

July 15, 2020

This week, Kevin Williams and Lateef McLeod share about racism and ableism from their perspective as Black AAC users. Kevin Williams is a freelance web developer and the Chief Technical Officer of USSAC. Lateef is a PHD Candidate in the Anthropology and Social Change program at California Institute of Integral Studies, Vice President of ISSAC’s LEAD Committee, and published poet/author. In the interview, Kevin and Lateef discuss the importance of having difficult conversations about racism and ableism, the intersection of race and disability in their own life, and the importance of patience, especially from the police, when communicating with AAC users. 

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss the need for more options for AAC users to socialize with other AAC users online, especially during the pandemic. 

 

Key Ideas this Week:

 

🔑 Have uncomfortable conversations about racism and ableism with people in your immediate circle of friends and family. People are more likely to listen to someone they care about and respect

 

🔑 Police should inspire compliance with their own behavior, including telling someone why they are being physically restrained, rather than simply demanding compliance. Police need to be the most patient with people with disabilities. 

 

🔑 An AAC user’s personality is communicated by more than the software or voice on a device; it also comes from that person’s gestures, vocalizations, and body language.

 

Links: 

 

Some of Lateef's books on Amazon

 

Lateef’s podcast “Black Disabled Men Talk”

 

Join USSAAC and ISAAC

 

ISAAC PWUAAC Chat page

 

Speak Up blog

 

Body Cam Footage of the Death of Rashad Brooks Warning: Video Contains Graphic Images

 

Where is Hope, The Art of Murder (the documentary)

Erik Raj: Apps That Make Learning Language Fun

Erik Raj: Apps That Make Learning Language Fun

July 8, 2020

This week, Rachel interviews Erik Raj, a Speech-Language Pathologist and app developer. about using apps to make language development more motivating and fun! Rachel and Erik discuss picture-manipulation apps to get students laughing, telling stories with the my story app, making passive screen time more active, teaching students to comment and not just request, integrating parents into therapy with the superherofx app, and more! Learn more about Erik at Erikxraj.com and on Instagram @erikxraj

 

For extra apps and hacks from Erik Raj and to enter to win Erik’s Your Face Learning apps, become a TWT Patron at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris discuss their presentations on AAC in the Cloud: Chris’s presentation on robots and coding for core language, and Rachel’s presentation with Lauren Enders on attention-grabbing tools. They also share about some of the other interesting presentations from this year's AAC in the Cloud conference.

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Chris Ellis: Improving Hearing With the Audio Cardio App

Chris Ellis: Improving Hearing With the Audio Cardio App

July 1, 2020

This week, Rachel interviews Chris Ellis of Audio Cardio, an app designed to help strengthen hearing. They discuss how the app uses threshold sound conditioning (TSC) and barely audible sound to stimulate the cells in the ear, and the results of research studies suggesting TSC can improve hearing thresholds.  

 

TWT listeners can get a free 30 day trial of Audio Cardio by going to audiocardio.com and using the code AAC3XS

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel talk about intersection of hearing and AAC. Rachel shares about an AAC user who had recently received cochlear implants. This AAC user benefited from the visuals on the device and he rapidly improved his functional communication by using the device. Then, Chris shares about some of the issues regarding speaker volume he has solved with solutions like bluetooth speakers. Finally, Chris and Rachel discuss teaching AAC users how to change volume on their devices so they can be heard above the background noise.

 

Check out Picseepal, a low tech communication tool that is mobile, durable, and splash-proof, at picseepal.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/picseepal 

 

Visit talkingwithtech.org to access previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

Gemma White: Fostering a Growth Mindset With Core Words

Gemma White: Fostering a Growth Mindset With Core Words

June 24, 2020

This week, Rachel interviews Gemma White, an SLP who owns a private practice specializing in AAC and feeding support. Gemma and Rachel discuss a “growth mindset” and why mindset is important for everyone, including people with complex communication needs.

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris play a game where Rachel decides on which words she would use to communicate with fictional “veggie” creatures! Then, Rachel and Chris discuss resources for learning about state license reciprocity and how Chris teaches growth mindset to his kids.

 

Key ideas this week: 

 

🔑 The idea behind a “growth mindset” is that a person’s personality, intelligence and abilities are not fixed. People grow, change, and develop when they make mistakes and decide on a path forward.

 

🔑 Promoting a growth mindset isn’t just being a cheerleader- it’s also about fostering an environment where people are brave enough to make mistakes, receive feedback on what was done correctly and incorrectly,  and choose a path forward

 

🔑 We can promote growth mindset while also teaching core language and modeling. We can model things like “you tried, it’s hard, you can do it” to support the idea that learning is a process, they made an error, and we are going to move forward.

 

🔑 When giving corrective feedback, try to say “not yet” instead of “no”.

 

You can find out more about Gemma at gemmawhiteslp.com and on Instagram (@a.spoonful) 

 

Check out Picseepal, a low tech communication tool that is mobile, durable, and splash-proof, at picseepal.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/picseepal 

 

Research

 

Dweck, C. S. (2008). Mindset: The new psychology of success. Random House Digital, Inc..

 

Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Psychology press.

 

Rhew, E., Piro, J. S., Goolkasian, P., & Cosentino, P. (2018). The effects of a growth mindset on self-efficacy and motivation. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1492337.

Cara Walton:  Action Planning for Anti-Racism and AAC

Cara Walton: Action Planning for Anti-Racism and AAC

June 19, 2020

This week, Rachel and Chris interview Cara Walton (@thebuckeyeslp), the author of a recent change.org petition “Demands for ASHA to Increase Cultural Sensitivity.” Cara shares about her experience as a Black woman becoming a speech-language pathologist, what ASHA can do right now to increase cultural sensitivity, and ways that AAC can better support people of color.

 

Before the interview, Rachel and Chris talk about their previous attempt to discuss anti-racism and AAC on the podcast, how they responded to mistakes they made, and how that response has led to a better understanding of their own cultural “blindspots” and the importance of learning from our mistakes.

 

Key ideas this week: 

 

🔑 There is a need for more diversity in the field of speech-language pathology - only 8% of SLPs self-identify as people of color, and only 3% identify as Black. We need to recruit more people of color to become SLPs and audiologists, and push graduate schools to have requirements to enroll a more diverse class.

 

🔑 Most AAC symbol sets typically default to white male icons being showcased in vocabulary templates and it requires a high level of customization to select and program racially diverse icons. Considering whether the symbols will represent the user can be an important factor when choosing a system for an AAC user. If software developers know racial diversity in symbol sets is a consideration when feature matching, we may see more diverse symbol options in AAC software. 

 

🔑 There should be a mandatory diversity CEU requirement that is similar to the mandatory ethics CEU requirement, and there should be more CEUs on diversity and multicultural issues available on the ASHA Learning Pass.

 

We invite you to write your own goals for improving racial equity and share them with us at https://bit.ly/twtequityform

 

Click here to sign the ASHA petition Cara started. 

 

Resources:

  1. Donation Spreadsheet
  2. Speech-Specific Organizations:
    1. National Black Association of Speech Language Hearing NBASLH
    2. Sistas in Speech Therapy and Audiology S.I.S.T.A.S.
    3. SLPs of Color 
  3. Education-Related Organizations
    1. Black Girls Code
    2. The Conscious Kid
  4. Social Media Accounts
    1. @equityslps
    2. @slpsofcolor 
    3. @the_juvenileforensic_slp 
    4. @speechologistsf  
    5. @theslpway  
    6. @jrc_theslp  
    7. @ei_incolor  
    8. @thebuckeyslp  
    9. @coffee.communication  
    10. Black Speech-Language Pathologists
    11. SLP Private Practice in Color (Townhall Meeting)
  5. Helpful Podcasts
    1. The Mindful SLP Episode: Anti-Racist Mindfulness
    2. Brene Brown: How to Be an Anti-Racist
  6. Helpful Videos
    1. A Kindergarten Teachers Talking about Racism to her Students
    2. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man 
  7. Helpful Articles
    1. The New Yorker: White Fragility
    2. Comprehensive Anti-Racism Resource Guide
Brittyn Coleman: How Nutrition Can Affect People with Autism

Brittyn Coleman: How Nutrition Can Affect People with Autism

May 27, 2020

This week, Rachel interviews Brittyn Coleman (https://www.autismdietitian.com), a pediatric dietitian who specializes in supporting children with autism and ADHD. She talks with Rachel about the difference between the different types of food reactions, when biomedical testing may be used to evaluate food sensitivity, the different reasons why some foods may be avoided by picky eaters, and more!

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel finish their game of AAC Bingo! Topics that they rate themselves on this week include if they “inspire not require”, if they are CEU “junkies”, if they use password managers, and how much they enjoy laminating!

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 There are up to 30 different steps that may be necessary before we ask a picky eater to eat a new food (e.g., seeing, smelling, touching, tasting). Going straight to eating a new food may elicit a “fight or flight” response that reduces appetite even further.

 

🔑 There are different types of food reactions that can occur. Food allergies often involve anaphylactic reactions and typically can bee seen on the outside. Food sensitivities can take longer to show up and may only occur internally and manifest as cognitive and/or behavioral issues. Food intolerance is when there is a digestive enzyme that is missing and the body can’t break down a particular food.

 

🔑 Every person on the autism spectrum is unique and there is no one diet that works for everyone. Even if someone doesn’t benefit from one diet (e.g., gluten-free diet), it doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from a different approach.

 

Listeners can get $500 off Brittyn’s services by using the promo code talkingwithtech !

Brittani Rollen: Author of “Lucas the Lion Loves the Tiny Talker”

Brittani Rollen: Author of “Lucas the Lion Loves the Tiny Talker”

May 20, 2020

Brittani’s son Lucas is a 7 year old AAC user who has Joubert’s syndrome. Brittani shares about her journey with teaching Lucas to communicate and how it led to writing her book “Lucas the Lion Loves the Tiny Talker,” a social story about a lion who uses AAC. It teaches kids about AAC and even comes with its own light-tech AAC device, the Tiny Talker! 

 

Before the interview, Chris plays the “Opposite Challenge” with Rachel, a game with a surprise ending! Next, Chris remembers the late, great Bruce Baker and talks about the impact Bruce made on his life. Rachel discusses starting new online therapy groups for kids that combine direct therapy activities and integrated parent training - learn more at rachelmadel.com/vitual. Chris and Rachel also talk about the need for a “telepractice” license that allows you to practice in multiple states at the same time. 

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Joubert’ syndrome is a genetic condition causing the vermis of the cerebellum to be underformed, which causes global developmental delays in eye movement, speech, coordination, and balance.

 

🔑 Considering the size of a device is important when doing an AAC assessment. A very heavy device may not be a good fit for a small child to take around at home and school.

 

🔑 Talking with Tech has a new website! Visit talkingwithtech.org for access to all of our episodes and more! 

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

Carson Covey: AAC User and Future SLP

Carson Covey: AAC User and Future SLP

May 13, 2020

This week, the TWT team presents Chris’s interview with Carson Covey, social media manager & AAC mentor at Jill Tullman & Associates, ambassador with PRC, and AAC user! Carson shares about changing his AAC system to TouchChat; the importance of having his circle of support use his device; updating AAC devices when sheltering at home; and going to school to become an SLP!

 

Before the interview, Chris and Rachel play AAC Bingo & score themselves on AAC in their lives, including advocating modeling, using low tech AAC, valuing motor planning, and using AAC memes.

 

Key ideas this week:

 

🔑 Having an AAC user’s 1:1 aide know and use the device can be a huge help when navigating the school environment inside and outside of class. Having the family know the device is similarly helpful at home.

 

🔑 It is important to avoid helping AAC users too much - we must give them the time and opportunity to communicate before jumping in to help.

 

🔑 AAC users should trust in themselves, and trust their technology!

 

Help us develop new content and keep the podcast going strong! Support our podcast at patreon.com/talkingwithtech!

 

Visit bit.ly/twtpod for access to previous episodes, resources, and CEU credits that you can earn for listening to TWT episodes!

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