Monday, March 9, 2009

Blowing dust off of my poor blog

I realized today that I've been silent for a good month. I've still been keeping up with all of my blogs, reading daily and commenting occasionally. However, I just haven't had much energy to write. School has been exhausting this semester. I've been having a tough time keeping up with the frantic, breakneck pace. I feel like I don't have a lot to contribute to this blogging community that gives me so much; I don't have children, I don't have a degree, and the insights I do have I am reluctant to share.
Recently I did a poster at a conference about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and autism. I did not conduct an actual research study, but I proposed one in which two groups of children would be taught to use the same electronic AAC device in the same fashion. The only difference would be that one group's devices would have the speech output function turned on, and one group's devices would have the speech output function turned off. I want to isolate that component to see if speech output makes a difference in AAC intervention, and possibly even to see if it encourages children to start using natural speech. I had a lot of professionals tell me that my idea was a good one, and to share various experiences they had with AAC. This was somewhat gratifying because the first time I had ever touched an actual AAC device was the day before I presented the poster. Sometimes my lack of experience and knowledge overwhelms me...but I find that when I don't let it incapacitate me, I get through whatever situation I'm facing and I do okay. To my knowledge, I have not yet scarred anyone for life, at least. ;) So I'll try to come up with some more content soon.
P.S. CC, I didn't win. Thanks for offering the videos, but I might save my pennies and try to get the DVDs so I can get to certain spots faster and play them on my laptop for kids.

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