AAC, AT, Families, Inclusion, Literacy, UDL

Receptive Before Expressive with Linda Burkhart

by Samuel Sennott

How did you learn to talk? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Did you learn to speak english as a child? Did you learn spanish? I ponder these questions as Linda Burkhart starts the hour long workshop reminding us about the importance of modeling, as she brings us back to the classic Engineering the Environment texts and the concept of aided language stimulation.  This receptive before expressive concept and the idea of constantly modeling the use of components in an AAC system makes so much sense!  Here are some notes from the hour:

Partner Assisted Scanning

Asking the right questions is key. Automaticity with yes and no is a goal. Keeping the yes and no on consistent sides is helpful in the process. : )

Parter assisted scanning, while still English, has:

  • Different Structure
  • Different Pace
  • Different Pragmatics
  • Different Interactive Strategies

The Organization

Pragmatically Organized Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication Books (Gayle Porter)

Find out more by checking out:

*NEW – Instructional Course – Presented at ISAAC in Germany – July 2006*

Partner-Assisted Communication Strategies for
Children Who Face Multiple Challenges

PODD Communication Books – Gayle Porter

Linda J. Burkhart and Gayle Porter

SEE KID SEE BOOK is such a good catch phrase to take from this workshop. It keeps it simple when you are trying to help a learner and the team surrounding the learner.

Practice, Practice, Practice using it yourself. (the system)


February 5, 2008 Posted by | AAC, ATIA2008, PODD, Special Education, writing | Leave a comment

Kicking off With Linda Burkhart’s Stepping Stones

by Samuel Sennott

Download the Coordinating Handout for the Workshop:

Two Switches for Success: Access for Children with Severe Physical and/or Multiple Challenges

Linda Burkhart’s Terrific Website:

Generous Offering of Handouts

LBurkhart ATIA 2008

Linda Burkhart starts the hour with redefining “errorless learning”, a term she has used often. She speaks about how for her it means a forum for learning filled with strategic and meaningful feedback where the child can problem solve during their efforts, focusing on active learning and experimentation. She speaks about a flooding into the field of a skewed look at the concept that speaks about just, “not letting the learner mess up.” For me, her teaching on this concept is forever tied with her classic story of the lady with the yellow umbrella. (not told this session) She shows this concept of active learning, so clearly during a later software demonstration showing informative feedback for an emerging two switch scanner stacking virtual blocks.

“How long do I teach cause and effect? Well, about ten minutes…for the year.” , says Linda. She tells us that children can get this concept very quickly, if we do the hard work of setting the environment so that the learner can, “get it.” We see some excellent video examples of children using the movements that they already have to “get it” and quickly move on to more cognitively engaging activities.

Some Clips from the Hour Session:

Stepping Stone One: Cause and Effect

Getting What the Movement it is: Cause and Effect: learning for yourself

Couple Software Pics:

Judy Lynne Software: Boombox

Marblesoft: Everybody has Feet by Bill Lynn

Getting it in Several Locations: a lot of things you can do and have fun doing it.

Goal: Practicing: Thousands of times with intent, purpose, and motivation

Two Switches Two Functions

Two Switch Step Scanning

Software Pics: Inclusive TLC: Switchit Wildlife

Stealth Switch: An affordable $70 (here at ATIA) switch interface that allows you to reprogram the switch inputs like the intelliswitch. Sold by Technology for Education Look for direct link asap.

Stealth Switch pic

Stealth Switch software interface.

stealth screenshot

January 31, 2008 Posted by | AAC, Assistive Technology, AT, ATIA2008 | 2 Comments

AAC Authors with Caroline Musselwhite

by Samuel Sennott

Thursday Morning ATIA 2008 9:45

AAC users as authors is a terrific concept that is incredibly exciting in this age of near instant publishing and really simple syndication. This workshop looks to be a terrific sampling of potent ideas to help us be better teachers of the writing process for our learners who use AAC.

Vocabulary Brainstorming & Rehearsal

Dr. Caroline Musselwhite is teaching us how to help students brainstorm a wide range of vocabulary. She tells about how she learned the technique from Dr. Karen Erickson. She show how creating a web of possible vocabulary is so helpful to fuel the authoring process.

Eye Gaze and Partner Assisted Writing Templates

Use the eye gaze frames and auditory scanning templates loaded with writing set ups that provide tons of vocabulary to use during drafting. This connects with the pragmatically organized communication displays that Linda Burkhart just showed, made by Gayle Porter.

Book Pick

Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four Blocks Way by Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver

4 blocks book sn

10:04 AM

Caroline tells about the portion of the Learning Magic website that helps with the connecting of  the Raps stories into your literacy curriculum.

 Performing Your Works

Seeing the pictures of the young children looking up at the AAC authors presenting their creative writing really drove home the point.   What an empowering process this is!

I am super inspired by this workshop and look forward to the writing camp we are hosting at Nova this summer!

Final video of an AAC author presenting on stage!

10:15 close

January 31, 2008 Posted by | AAC, Assistive Technology, AT, ATIA2008, inspiration, Literacy, OTOT, Special Education, writing | Leave a comment