Have you ever worked with a student who needs an AAC, but you don’t know which one would work best for them? If you have, then you’ll appreciate this episode. Annabeth and Mara from The Fanny Pack Therapist have found that their respective therapy styles, as a speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist, mesh so well that they teamed up to help more students.
Annabeth and Mara love how AACs empower students to find ways to communicate their thoughts and needs with the people around them. They’ve found that AACs don’t prohibit verbal speech, but simply give a child a way to communicate while they work toward verbal speech. You don’t want to miss their ABCs of AACs on their Instagram page from October 2020.
By collaborating together, SLPs and OTs can get a more holistic view of a child. While the SLP is evaluating a child’s expressive and receptive skills, an OT can come in and see where a child’s fine motor skills are. And once they’ve passed the initial evaluation, together, the SLP and OT can try signs, low-tech options, verbal speech, and just about anything else to see what works.
I hope this episode gets your wheels turning on how you can work with other professionals or how you can help your students or clients use AACs to meet their therapy goals. Make sure you check out The Fanny Pack Therapist for more ideas on collaborating with other therapists.
Mara is a speech-language pathologist who has worked in outpatient pediatrics for five years. Mara has always loved AAC, so she centered her graduate school and work experiences around complex communication needs. Annabeth is an occupational therapist who has been working in pediatrics for nine years in a variety of settings, specializing in assistive technology assessment for children with multiple neuromuscular conditions. Annabeth received her clinical doctorate in occupational therapy, researching the topic of improving quality of life of children with cerebral palsy through caregiver education and empowerment. Annabeth and Mara have presented together at national and international conferences on the topics of interdisciplinary collaboration for AAC evaluation and treatment, improving competencies in AAC through mentorship and collaboration, intensive models of AAC intervention, care coordination, and tele-AAC. Check out their content on Instagram, @thefannypacktherapist, where they provide practical strategies for minimalist therapy and building competency in AAC and AT.
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