Communication and Literacy
Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver have been researchers and educators in the field of augmented and alternative communication for years, with a special interest in literacy. With others, they have been creating resources for teachers of students with communication differences, including this webite, with very specific instructions on how to plan for research-supported, meaningful and effective instruction in literacy. The plan they outline integrates very well with Daily Five literacy instruction.
Augmented and Alternative Communication (AAC)
There are so many ways to help children to communicate in ways other than verbal language, and the most important thing is to find and teach strategies that will work for each individual child.
Who is ready for AAC? Anyone who needs help communicating. This article by Assistiveware provides a clear answer to a common question. The website has a variety of other articles about getting started with AAC.
The Open Access Resource Centre serves Manitobans with speech impairments by supporting through the availability and use of communications devices. They offer training to school teams and families, and can help children access the technology they need to communicate.
PrAACtical AAC is a comprehensive website offering introductory information as well as strategies, resources, and examples of how to teach children to use alternate means of communication. Also check out the site’s affiliated social media accounts.
Caroline Musselwhite is a knowledgeable researcher/educator with a wealth of ideas. You can browse hundreds of tips and strategies on her website, or look for her on Instagram and find her resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.
The SCERTS® Model is a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families. SCERTS® focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support as the highest priorities that must be addressed in any program, and is applicable for individuals with a wide range of abilities and ages across home, school and community settings.
The Hanen Book Nook
The Hanen Centre is a Canadian charitable organization. Their mandate is to help parents and professionals build the best possible lifelong social, language and literacy skills. They are well known for the two books in the list below (More Than Words and Talkability). In the Book Nook section of their website, they make suggestions for reading favourite children’s books together and talk about ways you can use them to promote their emergent literacy skills. This would be a great list of books to use with emergent readers.
Making the School Library Accessible
Library access is an important aspect of an inclusive school. This article considers how to make sure all children can benefit from all their library has to offer.
Communication and Literacy Book Recommendations:
- A Land We Can Share: Teaching Literacy to Students with Autism by Paula Kluth and Kelly Chandler-Olcott (review here.)
- Literacy Beyond Picture Books: Teaching Secondary Students With Moderate to Severe Disabilities by Dorothy Dendy Smith et. al.
- Talkability: People Skills for Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum and More Than Words by Fern Sussman (review here.)
- Autobiography on the Spectrum: Disrupting the Autism Narrative by Beth A. Myers
- Children’s Language: Connecting Reading, Writing and Talk by Judith Wells Lindfors
- Children with Disabilities: Reading and Writing the Four-Blocks® Way, Grades 1 – 3 by David Koppenhaver and Karen Erickson
- Teaching Language Arts, Math, and Science to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities by Diane Browder-Boswell and Fred Spooner
- Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses: A Unique Approach to Literature Circles by Faye Brownlie
- Declarative Language Handbook by Linda K. Murphy