Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 27

COMMUNICATION not want to use the computer anymore. This is what it is like for an AAC user with a new AAC system. We need to teach and learn together as a team. I usually tell others that they need to think of an AAC system as a “second language.” 4. Connect with the community of AAC users and families This is a key step that many people do not take. Often people can feel alone and isolated in the process. With social media, connecting with others is easy and can be very helpful in seeking advice, help, and connections with others in your situation. Many of the com- munication apps and devices that are recom- mended have wonderful private groups on Facebook to join. Get involved and join these groups! Connect and share your experience! 5. Rebecca Eisenberg, MS, CCC-SLP,  is a certified speech-language pathologist, author, instructor, and parent of two children. She has been working in the field of augmentative and alternative communi- cation (AAC) for more than 15 years in a variety of settings and currently works with both children and adults with autism and other varying disabilities who have complex communication needs. She also writes a blog, called Gravity Bread, for parents that focuses on using mealtime as learning opportunities for language. She is a children’s book author of The Monkey Balloon, and she will be releasing two more children’s books this summer titled My Second Year of Kindergarten and A Tale of The Monkey Balloon. She has also published multiple games and a work- book for children with special needs through Super Duper Publications. She can be reached via email. Email: Blog: Start small and build success with new routines! This is my most consistent advice for educa- tors and parents. My approach to AAC is not to overload parents and educators in the begin- ning. Since this can be an overwhelming pro- cess for the AAC user, team, and family, I like to suggest starting small and building new rou- tines with the communication device. This can help build confidence, success, and long-term usage of the system. This may not apply to all situations, but once a child feels successful in using the AAC system in one activity or situa- tion, it is easy to build upon this experience. For example, there was one child on my caseload who was initially resistant to the AAC system, but we started using it one time during shar- ing time in the classroom. Once she became comfortable creating sentences on the system and then sharing it with the class, we built it into another activity. This helped build the sys- tem into her routines in the classroom. Obviously, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. In many classrooms, AAC is incorporated throughout the day, which is ideal. However, these staff mem- bers are already trained on how to implement this system in a variety of contexts. We help to Empower YOU, the parent, by teaching you a unique and holistic autism treatment program which can be applied right at home! 25% OFF APM25 Use this code at checkout for 25% off our online Parent- Therapist™ course. Save Today! The therapies used within Sen- sory Harmonization are research based and consist of touch therapy techniques, chromotherapy, vibro- acoustic therapy, and social skills building. We have also developed a unique and effective language ac- quisition and development program which you will learn in our online course. A digital copy of our book comes absolutely FREE with our on- line course!