• Kelly Mikoda, Speech Language Pathologist 


    Core Vocabulary

    We have introduced a Core vocabulary communication board that we are using all around our classroom and throughout the day! Click this link for more information about Core Vocabulary: http://theautismhelper.com/core-and-fringe-vocabulary-what-it-is-how-to-use-it/  or here to watch a video about Core Vocabulary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG5JeH2H_OY&t=22s&app=desktop 

    So how does this work in class? We have core boards located on tables and other locations throughout the room. Every teacher and staff person in the room models the language on the core that matches the language spoken in the activity or lesson. We encourage students to use the core boards to help with their communication but many of our students are seeking the communication boards out and using them all on their own to communicate with us during the day. 

    Can I do this at home? Yes!! Download the same core board we use in the classroom: Core Vocabulary Board   Although you can search online for different ideas on how to use the communication boards at home, the easiest thing to do is to just point to the icon/word that matches what you are saying. Think about times that you may have a better chance of having your child's focus and attention (e.g., snack at the table, reading a book, watching a tv show together). Keep the core board handy and point to the words as you talk with your child. Here are some examples word/phrases that may get you started: 

    At Snack: You like it, you want more, I want more, it is good, it is bad

    Reading a Book: I see it (using the 'look' icon) I turn it (when turning the page) all done, I want more

    Watching a Show: We watch it (using the 'look' icon), I like it, I don't like it, I want more please


    Curious about the impact of Alternative Augmenative Communication on natural speech development? Here is a good resource for your review: https://www.tobiidynavox.com/globalassets/downloads/aac-myths/myths-aac-and-speech.pdf

    What are we talking about in speech and language group lessons?


    We have been practicing using the word GO to talk about places we go in school (e.g., go play, go wash hands, go bathroom) and also making things GO (e.g,  1, 2, 3 GO; let's go, here we go).

    We have also been talking about body parts and playing with Mr. Potato Heads. We request body parts by requesting "I want more" or "I want (name body part)" and are singing fun songs about the body parts going ON and falling off and then picking them UP.

    Here is a pdf of the vocabulary related to Mr. Potato Head for you to download and use! Mr. Potato Head

    Also this month we worked on talking about the leaves changing colors and falling down. We are using our core and color boards to talk about the different leaf colors and requesting to rake them up in a dramatic play activity! 

    Here is a pdf of the color vocabulary related to our Fall leaves unit. colors


    In November we worked on using the core words LOOK/SEE, GET/GOT, WANT, TURN to talk about Fall items and Food items. We played 'what's in the box?' activities in which unit vocabulary pictures were in the bag and students would request a turn, pick a card and then name what they got. Students also matched items on a paper for these activities. 

    We also worked on some play schemes teaching the students how to play with certain toys and also the language involved in that play. We raked leaves and threw them up into the air targeting core words of WANT, TURN, GO, MY. We also played in our classroom kitchen working on the play scheme of cooking. We asked for food and dishes using the core word WANT and acted out cooking by PUTting the food IN the bowl and stiring it (TURN) and then EATing it. We got new food by saying WANT DIFFERENT. Much of our activities involve exposing our students to the words on the core boards to help provide them the language both verbally and in picture form This technique is called Aided Language Input and is beneficial for those students who are using alternate forms of communication. 


    In December we spent much of our lessons talking about Gingerbread and the vocabulary and actions associated with the Gingerbread Man story. We used out core boards to talk about how HE GO fast and that NO one could GET him. We also used small gingerbread men in our "what's in the box?' activity. We all got excited to LOOK in the box and ask WHAT IS IN IT? and then request to OPEN IT. We each GOT our own gingerbread man and MADE him GO>run fast around the table and then ON a cup, OFF a cup, IN a cup, and UNDER a cup. We ended this unit by making our own gingerbread house. Some student requested canides by color others by indicating they WANT IT and then followed directions to PUT IT ON the house. 

    Finishing up the calendar year with our favorite things... things that GO. The students got all excited about seeing things that can GO and requestig more of their favorites during circle time: 

    Balloons: We count to three as we MAKE IT (a balloon) BIG and then request IT to GO using different phrases (e.g., ready, set, GO; 123 GO; MAKE IT GO; let IT GO) 

    Bubbles: We request bubbles using WANT IT and MORE and GO

    Penguin Popper: We count to three to get excited to have the Penguin GO pop the ball OUT. We talk about how a teacher has to GO GET IT and that we can GO MORE or WANT MORE. Each student GETs to take a TURN to MAKE IT GO using the Penguin popper. 

    There's more to communication than requesting what 'I want' 

    Although requesting is a common first step in teaching language, we want to make sure we are also teaching language for other purposes! Check out this quick video for a little more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-RyLRxiDG0