Thursday, April 17, 2014

Make Your Own Screen Shot Picture Communication Symbols to Learn AAC Apps

We have been trialing different AAC apps with students who are transitioning from picture communication systems to iPad apps with speech output. One of the things that has been effective and fun, has been to take a screen shot of a context./topic page, then email it to ourselves, print it on card stock and cut up the symbols to use as a tactile crossover to the app.
An art activity
 We cut out a the screen shot symbols for an art topic and had colors, crayons, markers, glitter and glue. We also had the "I" and the "want" symbols cut out and placed them all together with a conversation strip.
In the activity we had the iPad ready and walked through the locations and sequences to get to the colors and art materials. The student had been practicing the "I want" and knew where that was located. we got out the actual materials and held them so the student had to pull the actual Card symbols and build i.e. "I want blue crayon" , then we showed him how to build the phrase on the iPad and then "say it".
Once it had been physically constructed, sequenced on the iPad and "spoken" the student got the item requested. A fun twist was to color with the studnet and model requesting my own art materials as well - it seemed more fair and made it more fun!
Apply to many concepts and categories
Try this with learning categories for food, things, toys, tools, etc. Building familiarity with the contents within catgories on a dynamic board while tactile handling of the symbols as well makes some great crossover applications.