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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Core Vocabulary: First 40 Words from Dynamic Learning Maps™ (DLM)

Many people have been asking about the DLM™ First 40 words that we are including in our Angelman Communication Training Project.

'The DLM Core Vocabulary Project was initiated to determine the vocabulary that is necessary for students with significant cognitive disabilities to engage, learn, and demonstrate knowledge in an academic environment.'
            (The Dynamic Learning Maps Core Vocabulary, DLM Professional Learning Team at UNC-Chapel Hill, May, 2013).

These words have been extensively researched by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies for words needed for AAC Core vocabulary and Academic Core Vocabulary.

DLM™ FIrst 40 Handout

For more information, please go to the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies website, with many links for information to the research and to presentations about their implementation of Core 40.

More info on Core Vocabulary

Communicative Functions Checklist by Keisha Tipton

Below is a DRAFT version of the Communicative Functions Quick Checklist, developed by Keisha Tipton.  Please give us feedback on its usefulness and any changes that you suggest.

This could be helpful in tracking changes across time.  Look for:
• New functions that the student is now showing
• Old functions being shown in ways that are easier to understand (ex:  moving from body language only to sign, or adding vocalization, or using AAC device)

For use across time, use a different color each time you assess.

Thanks so much to Keisha Tipton, special educator and mother extraordinaire, for sharing this!  Download the form using the link below.
Communicative Functions Quick Checklist

AAC in DC: Handout Day 1

Below is a link to the handout from Day 1 of the AAC in DC Conference.  Enjoy!

AAC in DC Day 1 Handout

AAC in DC - Day 2 - Emergent Balanced Literacy and AAC

Follow the link below for the handout for AAC in the Desert - Day 2, Emergent Balanced Literacy & AAC

AAC in DC - Day 2 Handout

Friday, September 18, 2015

Angelman Communication Training Series

What Is It?  The ASF Communication Training Series takes all of the hours of great communication workshops and breaks them down into smaller, digestible parts so that you and your individual with AS can reach her/his greatest communication success at any age. Using web-based teaching, the Series is designed to be sequential and you can join at any time and proceed through the training at your child’s pace of learning.

Who Is This For?  This series is designed for parents and other family members of students with Angelman Syndrome.  But it is open to everyone.  This includes:
- Special Ed teachers
- General Ed teachers
- Speech-language therapists
- Occupational and physical therapists
- Administrators, psychologists, and anyone else who is interested!

How Much Does It Cost?
The series is FREE, and is made available by the Angelman Syndrome Foundation and a generous grant from The Foster Family Charitable Foundation, a family foundation established in central California.

Where Can I Get More Info, and How Do I Register?

Go to the home page of www.angelman.org 

Click on the Communication Training link to read more about the project and get started!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Martin Pistorius: Author and Ted Talk Presenter!

Check out this excellent and thought-provoking Ted X Talk, by Martin Pistorius, an ISAAC colleague.

Martin's Ted X Talk

Spoiler Alert!

If you watch this first, you will get the 'short version' of Martin's amazing memoir, Ghost Boy.  I strongly recommend reading the book first, then listening to the Ted Talk.



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Noun Town: A New Book from AAC Language Lab

Check out this fun book from AAC Language Lab.

It shares the importance of using high frequency words, instead of living in 'Noun Town.'

Thanks to Jane Odom for sharing.  Enjoy!

The book is a free resource, and can be downloaded at the following link:

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Light Tech AAC App Backup

WHY:  We all know that light tech backups of AAC systems are crucial for a range of reasons:
- High tech devices can fail
- Light tech is often more visible out of doors
- Light tech is more appropriate for locations such as the beach
- Sometimes light tech just 'fits' the situation better

Families and schools using PODD (Pragmatically Organized Dynamic Displays) on high tech devices such as the Compass app typically also have a light tech version which is widely used also.  However, we have noted that individuals who use other AAC apps often do not have light tech versions.

HOW:  Below is a photo showing how my friend Shelaine has made a version of her son's customization of the  Proloquo-2-Go app.

The side view shows how a notebook can be used as a base, using duct tape and packing tape to create a folding stand.
Here is the video for how to make this stand

Video: How To Make PODD Stand

The third photo shows the Intermediate Core 60 light tech backup for Proloquo2Go.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Science for Every Kids Series - 101 Experiments books by Janice VanCleave

WHAT:  This great series includes:
- Astronomy
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Earth Science
- Food and Nutrition
- Physics

And SO many more.  Most of the books present 101 experiments, including: Materials, Procedure, Results, Why?

WHERE:  Just google Janice VanCleave.  Most of these books are available used for 1¢!  Of course, you will have to pay shipping (typically $3.99).

HOW:  It's easy to link these experiments to topics of study.  For example, we are studying Italy, and will be exploring the work of Leonardo da Vinci.  He was fascinated in studying bird's wings, and how the lift in those wings could be extrapolated to human flight.  An experiment that connects to this is Lift-Off, on pp. 134-135 of the book, Biology for Every Kid.

WHO:  These books are great for:
- General ed classrooms
- Special ed classrooms
- Literacy groups
- Homeschooling


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Download Videos From Facebook WITHOUT Software!!

Note - Do NOT do this without permission!!!!

Okay, now that I've done my 'disclaimer' . . .

This is the fastest way I've found to download a video from Facebook.

No software.

No saving urls that you will never find again.

Just download it!!

Here's the video tutorial.  Enjoy!!



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Emergent Balanced Literacy Workshop - Phoenix, September 21, 2015

Join us for a low-cost Emergent Balanced Literacy Workshop at Southwest Human Development in Phoenix.

For more information, contact me: