2002 Conference Proceedings

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AAC SCRAPBOOKS TO SUPPORT SOCIAL COMMUNICATION AND STUDENT PORTFOLIOS

Verjene Kalashian, MA, CCC-SLP
Program Director
ACRE Center
Monterey County Office of Education
47 San Benancio Rd.
Salinas, CA 93908
vkalashi@monterey.k12.ca.us

Peggy Barker, MS, ATP
Rehabilitation Engineer
Applied Assistive Technology
1874 Silvana Ln
Santa Cruz, CA 950062
pbarker@atole.com

Abstract

Strategies and tools to implement AAC Scrapbooks that will support and document AAC users' interactive communication, achievements, and organizational, behavioral, memory and AT needs.

Background

The most important goal for individuals and students with significant receptive and expressive communication delays is to encourage and develop their ability and motivation to communicate and relate to the world around them. Within the field of AAC many intervention tools and strategies exist to develop AAC users expressive and social communication as well as participation skills. AAC Scrapbooks are used as a tool to support these intervention strategies considered AAC "best practices".

AAC users need environments that consistently provide, * AAC models and supports to make language visual and tactile (when needed);
* Opportunities for communication throughout the day with a wide variety of people (to include peers);
* Opportunities to initiate and control the topic of conversation;
* A means to retrieve and communicate about past personal events, stories and information;
* Access to graphic symbols and text to support oral and written communication;
* Organizational systems to support independence, behavior management needs, activity transitions and activities of daily living;
and * A system for documenting achievements, skills and needs.

AAC Scrapbooks

AAC Scrapbooks are an effective and "user friendly" means to support many functions within school and work environments. AAC Scrapbooks are used primarily as an interactive communication tool to attract communication partners and create a focus for initiating and maintaining a conversation, support communication of current events and recall of past events, and provide visual language models (e.g., aided language stimulation). AAC Scrapbooks also serve as an organizational and behavioral management tool to support monthly and daily schedules/calendars, transitions within daily schedules, participation within activities of daily living. AAC Scrapbooks are also and effective information sharing tool regarding AAC user's interests and skills, as well as a progress reporting tool. AAC Scrapbook pages are created by teachers, students, therapists and family members. At home, AAC Scrapbooks support AAC user's ability to initiate conversations with family and peers, share information between home and school, support recall and discussion of past events (from childhood) and understand the family tree (who belongs to who).

The primary end goals for using AAC Scrapbooks are to: * Increase AAC user's number of communication partners by increasing their opportunities to socially interact with peers and adults
* Have AAC user's become partner focused by improving their conversational skills to include initiation, topic selection, gathering and sharing of information, and length of social interactions

The secondary end goals for using AAC Scrapbooks include: * Improved memory and sequencing of events
* Development and reinforcement of vocabulary and language concepts
* Communication supports within inclusive environments
* Portfolio of AAC user's skills, achievements as well as curriculum and AAC/AT needs.

To support the primary goals for using AAC Scrapbooks, every scrapbook page should encourage commenting, asking partner-focused questions, telling and retelling of personal stories, and the use of developmentally and age-appropriate vocabulary. Captions used to describe pictures, stickers or "souvenirs" should include words that allow for interaction, express individuality, control the behavior of others, express imagination, seek information, and provide information.

AAC Scrapbook pages should have frequent entries that relate to family, friends, class projects, academic achievements, art projects, story currently reading, movie, social event, self-help achievements, and communication or speech achievements. As often as possible include "Chit Chat Trivia", "Hot News", riddles for young AAC users and jokes or comics for older AAC users.

Functional outcomes for non-symbolic communicators who use individualized AAC Scrapbooks should include: * Increased opportunities to socially interact with others
* Increased number of communication partners
* Increased social interaction with peers and less familiar adults
* Increased length of social interactions
* Development of early symbolic communication and use of social expressions

Functional outcomes for symbolic communicators who use individualized AAC Scrapbooks should include: * Increased opportunities to socially interact with others
* Increased number of communication partners
* Increased social interaction with peers and less familiar adults
* Increased length of social interactions
* Increased receptive and expressive vocabulary and use of social expressions
* Increased literacy skills such as sight reading most commonly used words in the English language

AAC Scrapbooks are constructed with a variety of materials including digital graphics including photos, clip art and Boardmaker symbols and student completed activities using templates created in Intellitalk II, IntelliMathics and Inspiration.

AAC Scrapbooks provide a script for communication partner behavior in order to encourage and support interactive social communication. The outcome...SOCIAL CLOSENESS.


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