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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Beyond Requesting: Asking Questions And More

Asking questions to make requests or ask permission is likely the first brush our AAC users will have with question forms. But let's not stop there! "Who did you see last weekend?" and "Where are the napkins?" are also important to teach and practice.
Gail Van Tatenhove, via the Minspeak website, has created and posted a multitude of Intervention Plans. There are the 5-W's, but also am, is, are, do, was, have, will, could would... CLICK HERE to go to the list.

Here is a sample from Unit 9: "Can" Questions, Cooking Helpers (asking permission)

1. Collect the materials you need to do a simple cooking activity.  Make a list of the various actions involved in the activity (open, pour, stir, cut, measure, turn, put, etc.)  Each of these actions will be referenced with the word “do” in the verbal script of this activity.
2. ...Create visual support materials, such as flashcards, for the following:
a. the phrases, “can I,  “can you,” “can he,” “can she,” “can we,” and “can they”
b. the verb “do”
c. the pronoun “it”

1. Lay out all the materials for the activity, emphasizing what you are going to do rather than the names of the objects.
2. Explain how the student using AAC is in charge of asking permission for different people to do different actions in the activity (e.g., can I do it, can he do it) and that you as the teacher will decide you can do the different things.  
3. Start the activity, following your simple script.  Here is an example script for making a Smoothie.
  • Instructor: “Today we are making a Smoothie to drink.  You are all going to be my helpers, but NAME is going to be the one who asks permission for you to help me. The first thing to do is to take off the top of the blender.  NAME, look at someone and ask me if he or she can do it.   Or maybe, you want to do it yourself or do it with a friend.  But, you have to ask permission.”
  • AAC Student:  “Can I do it?”
  • Instructor: “Yes, you can”   (AAC student takes off top of blender.)  
  • Instructor: “Ok, we have taken off the top.  The next thing to do it to pour in the juice.  NAME, look at someone and ask me if he/or she can do it.”
  • AAC Student:  “Can he do it?”
  • Continue:  actions = cut, put in, turn on, turn off, taste, pour, drink etc.

Carole Zangari posted on teaching interrogatives for getting information from others. In it, she acknowledges, "It can be tricky to identify therapy activities in which the need for information is a real. Environmental arrangements or communication temptations can be used to develop those opportunities. Withholding some of the tools, ingredients, and materials needed for the activity, for example, helps the clinician create the ‘teachable moment’ in which question-asking skills can be taught." This table of important questions comes from the PrAACtical AAC blog from 2/16/13:

Context or ActivityLearner needs to ask things like:
Cooking (with visual supports)What do we need? What’s next? How do we do it? Where is the ___? How many/much? How long?
Running errands on campus (e.g. delivering forms)What do I need to do? Who is this for? Where do we need to go? When should I go? What time is it? When do you need it? What should I tell him/her?
Vocabulary collageWhat should we do? Where are the (scissors/glue sticks/magazines/etc)? What is this? What does __ mean?
Character mapWho is it? What did he/she do? What is he/she like? Where did he/she go? Where does it say that?
Getting ready to go shoppingWhat do we need? Where will we go? How many/much? When are we going? Who is going?
Science activity, like sink/float trials or making slimeWhat do we need? What color? What do we do? How do we do it? Where is the ___? How many/much?
Read Carole's 7 Tips for teaching interrogatives for gaining information CLICK HERE.

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