Tele-AAC Case Studies:
Working With What You've Got
Case 3: Max
Max is a determined 6 year-old who moves a lot. He uses a high-tech AAC system as well as lite-tech language boards within his environment. His mom is familiar to this clinician and is looking for ways to continue to support Max’s language and AAC use in the home setting. He is a busy and energetic young boy.
Max’s mom completed an initial intake form to determine details pertaining to the technology, AAC system, environment, communication partner and the individual. In summary it was determined that:
With respect to the “tele-tech” Max’s mom noted that she was comfortable with all types of communication and that they had access to a variety of tech devices to access during tele-AAC sessions.
When it comes to her son’s use of AAC and her comfort level “AAC tech,” Max has access to both his high-tech AAC system and lite tech options at home. Max’s mom is comfortable supporting Max’s AAC use but during phone consult she shared that Max’s receives direction more readily from others than herself.
When asked about the “tele-environment,” Max’s mom said that they would work in Max’s room that would provide a quiet environment for the tele-AAC session. She was not concerned about any distractions and was flexible with her and Max’s availability for sessions.
Regarding “communication partner” Max’s mom shared although she is comfortable with Max’s AAC use she struggled with supporting Max’s attention and focus toward structured tasks.
When asked about the “learner”it was noted that Max’s attention span for structured task was around 5-10 minutes at a time. That he need instruction to incorporate multiple senses and the option to move within a session. It was also noted that he enjoyed Legos, monster trucks, star wars, books and moving around.
While Max is able to follow directions from a two-dimensional screen as well as in real-time, whatever he does needs to involve movement. While his mom is comfortable supporting AAC use, creating opportunities for communication, and modeling, Max often receives instruction and guidance more readily when working with someone else. His initial intake process identified the biggest issues that need to be addressed as elements of how to engage Max.
Based on this profile, it was determined that Hillary would work with Max directly for short sessions, and that a visual schedule would be used to help support Max’s participation, and that activities would vary from stationery to movement-related tasks. Additionally, various lite-tech tools would be used to further support his attention and engagement. Hillary emailed Max’s mom a language board to print prior to starting the session.
When in session, Max was encouraged to find positioning that worked best for him. By using a portable tablet, the viewing display could we adjusted as needed. In addition, Hillary made sure that the visual supports in Max’s environment matched the visuals used as part of her session. Max’s iPad was set in Guided Access so that he didn’t accidently navigate out of the Zoom meeting. During the session Hillary shared her desktop that presented Max with the visual Skateboarding book that used real photos as well as the language board that matched his at his house. Hillary used the cursor on the screen to model use of the language board for Max.
From Raz Kids:
Simon Says Power Point:
Following the completion of reading a book (stationary activity), Hillary showed Max his visual schedule and took off the read icon and pointed to the game icon. At this point of the session Max becoming more wiggly in the stationary position. Max’s mom adjusted the iPad so that the camera angle allowed the clinician to still see Max in the new standing position. Hillary continued to share the language board on her screen and now paired the language board with a PowerPoint of Simon says using SymbolStix that matched Max’s language board. This task was exposing Max to new icons while working on following verbal directions, having fun, and getting some movement into the session. The clinician ended the session after the Simon says game to end on a positive note. The pdf of the book was then shared with Max’s mom to read with Max again at another time to target requesting “read more” and commenting as the clinician did in the session, along with the encouragement to generalize the vocabulary with some of Max’s favorite books he has at home.
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