Monday, 1 September 2008

I can...get organized!

Welcome back! A brand new school year…a great time to encourage students to become more independent by keeping themselves organized!  There are all kinds of ways that we can help our students to keep track of their schedules and to remember what tasks need to be completed.

Here are some vocabulary suggestions for getting organized:
Let’s start a timer!
Where’s my visual schedule?
I’ll check my day timer.
Let’s record that in my Step by Step ™
Can I help check it off?
Can you add that to my reminder list?
Here’s our grocery list….
Can you record a reminder in my Step-by –Step ™ for my mom?
Is it time for lunch yet?
Do you want to hear what I did at school?
What do we need to take on our class trip?
Let me tell you about my summer vacation…

Visual Schedules  
  • Encourage a student who uses an SGD to remind the class of upcoming events or the daily schedule. Use this in combination with a visual schedule in your class to help remind all students of what’s coming next. To make a visual schedule more manageable, split it into a morning and an afternoon section. Show a book buddy how to use a visual schedule, so that your student can see it being used by many different communication partners. Remember that a visual schedule is not just a classroom decoration! It needs to be used frequently so that the student can learn the sequence of events throughout a given time period.
  • Check out the SetBC website at for a great description of the different types of visual schedules and how they are used.

No-Tech Ideas 
  • Post-It® Notes are great for reminders, adding temporary information to a communication display or as a communication exchange (a series of messages on subsequent notes)


Light Tech Ideas
  • Use a student’s Step-by-StepTM to add a reminder for home. Make it part of the overall daily message, so that the social function of the device is not lost. “Hi Mom & Dad! I had a great day today. We listened to a story about Fall and watched a puppet show. Don’t forget I need to bring in some indoor shoes for gym tomorrow.”

  High Tech Ideas

·         It may be difficult to know whether a student has certain vocabulary within his SGD. Many of the device manufacturers provide support materials that can assist facilitators who want to model language for the student, e.g. wall charts, vocabulary lists and copies of the symbol sets for printing. Ask your ACS therapist to help you find the resources that you need.

·         Many high tech devices have integrated e-mail capabilities, reminder functions and address books that might be helpful to a student. Check the manufacturer’s website or ask your ACS clinician for information.

Opportunities to Learn
Tuesday October 23 2008 is AAC Awareness Day. Look for information on this event and other AAC related issues at
Look for events that are happening locally!

Fun Stuff! 

Pawsitive S.T.U.F.F. is a bear making party for children aged 3 – 12 years who use AAC. This is a partnership between TVCC and Celebration. Saturday October 4th, 10am – 12pm. $50. For further information call 519-685-8700 ext. 54097


Resources for families and educators: Check out the following websites for great ideas…

For older students, Hutton House has developed a series of age appropriate books  
First Money Software (money management skills)  
Match Time Software  
Time Scales Software  
Making Sense with Numbers Software   
Time Timer