What I learned Week 1: AAC

learning highway

As I stated in my previous post I am focusing this years post on LEARNING! I will post hopefully each week on what I have learned from three different sources: SLP bloggers and TPT sellers, SLPs in my district, and myself. I titled this week AAC but it doesn’t stand for just augmentative alternative communication. This week AAC stands for Augmentative Articulation and Compliance.

Around the Web:


I recently listened to a podcast from Carrie at Speech and Language Kids featuring Heidi at Smartmouth SLP. The topic for Episode 6 in the Storm of the Brains series was Non-Complaint Children in Therapy. I found this podcast particularly interesting since I have a student who occasionally will refuse to attend speech with other students. Heidi’s acronym of YMCA gave me a new perspective on how to look as his noncompliance. I need to focus on the A, his availability to learn. Instead of focusing on the goals I have set for the session, I should concern myself with helping him communicate his feelings so we can find a new way to help him achieve his goals. I plan to go back and listen to the other podcast soon. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Around Town:

I have several students on my caseload who are nonverbal or limited verbally. I have been struggling on how to help them communicate their needs. I looked to a great friend and colleague who has extensive knowledge in AAC. I had began working on building their core vocabulary by focusing on “I” and “you”. After practicing with the students, teachers, and aides the concept seemed confusing since the terms switch depending on who was talking. My friend suggested using the students picture and a symbol for helper to represent “I” and “you”. This new perspective is helping them learn to express the person who they need to complete the action whether it will be themselves or another person in the area.

Around My Room:

Each week I plan out my lessons (see my Organizing Your Caseload post) in a simple format. I service my articulation students three times per week for 5 minute sessions. Last week we focused on drills on Monday using my High Frequency Words for Speech Therapy and R Workbook that I found on Facebook. Wednesday I had my students complete a word search using their target words on the Smart board for added fun. And finally on Friday it was the end of the semester so we reviewed their progress. Monday and Friday’s lessons were successful but I learned something from Wednesday’s lesson.


Word searches take a while for many students to complete so although I had them say the words in the word bank I didn’t get many productions after that because it took them awhile to find the words. I had copied a crossword puzzle for homework that evening and I realized I should have switched activities. Crossword puzzles would have been simpler to complete and would have allowed for more articulation productions.

I hope that what I have learned this week has helped expand your knowledge as well. Please comment below with what you learned this week.

One thought on “What I learned Week 1: AAC

  1. I am so glad that you enjoyed the podcast! It was my first one (I realized that I need to stop saying “absolutely” so much *cringe*)! Throughout the years that I have been in this field, I have come to realize that I am continually learning! Thanks for sharing on your blog, it’s a great format and I am looking forward to reading more in this series!!

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