Tuesday, 1 April 2008

I can...take care of myself!

As kids get older, they need to take more responsibility for taking care of themselves. Providing them with the vocabulary and opportunities to practice directing their own care and managing their needs will help them become more independent.

Here are some vocabulary ideas for self care:
I need a new haircut!
Do I have to visit the dentist?
Do I have to get a needle?
I’m nervous
I need to book a taxi
I need to buy some groceries
Will it hurt?
Can you help me make a list?
Can you help me?
What are the side effects?
I need to make an appointment
I have an appointment
I consent to this treatment
Can you explain that again?
Let’s go shopping

Strategies for a Successful Appointment

·        Often health professionals have limited time during appointments.  Call ahead to book a longer appointment and to explain what communication strategies a person may use.
·        Try bringing this brochure with you on your appointment to help provide some general information on ways to communicate with someone who uses augmentative communication.  http://www.accpc.ca/Speak_Up/Speak_Up_Brochure-AAC%20Comm.pdf
·        Create a custom communication display specifically for the appointment or community outing you have planned.  Check out this website for some examples of boards that can be used at the hospital: http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/Hospital_1.pdf
·        If you are using a device, ensure that it is charged!  If possible, print out any pre-programmed questions you might have.  If using low-tech, bring some back up batteries. 
·        Encourage your student to practice making appointment over the phone.  Try role-playing with a familiar listener.  Be sure to include clarification messages such as “I have difficulty talking.  I use a device to communicate.  Please be patient.”

Pointing It Out

Pointing It Out is a package about safety for people who have communication disabilities and who use AAC. The package includes a DVD, audio CD and booklet. It is primarily intended for individuals over the age of 15 years. The package is available for loan through the TVCC Resource Centre or the London Public Library. http://www.accpc.ca/pointingitout.htm

No-Tech Ideas
There are many ready-made communication displays that are topic specific. Some examples can be found on the following website: http://www.setbc.org/pictureset/category.aspx?id=11

Light Tech Ideas
  • Student can use a Step by Step™ to introduce themselves to people they meet in the community.
  • Designate a student to be in charge of a shopping list. Try recording the list on a Step by Step ™. Voisec Talking Buttons can be used to record reminders for taking medications, remembering appointments etc. http://www.aroga.com/product_detail.asp?Item%20ID=9738
High Tech Ideas 

Resources for teachers and educators: Check out the following websites for great ideas…