Monday, 1 December 2008

I can... party!

Everybody loves a party! From a child’s birthday party at a classmate’s house, to that teenage sleep-over (no parents allowed!) or a wild, crazy night out! Parties provide us with a chance to dress up, spend time with our friends and to meet new people. What a great opportunity for social banter, telling stories, gossiping and asking questions!

Here are some vocabulary suggestions for getting ready for a night out:

Can you hold the mirror so I can see?
Please find my hairstyles page. I’ll show you the one I want.
Please show me my clothes choices.
I love it!
I would like something different.
What colours are there?
Not quite what I had in mind!
What do you think?
You look great too!
Can you call me a taxi, please?
Looks great!

Teens and Personal Relationships
For older teens, parties provide an environment where relationships can develop, new experiences can occur and boundaries may be tested. Often it can be difficult for teenagers to engage in discussion around such issues. An individual who uses AAC will likely find it even more difficult, as he/she may not have the vocabulary to talk about potentially sensitive topics such as relationships, sex and alcohol or drug use.

“Speak Upis a web site that offers many resources around relationships and sexuality, including communication displays and links to other websites that teens, young adults and parents of individuals who have complex communication needs may find useful. The website also highlights the importance of enabling individuals to disclose information about abuse.

“Speak Up is about ending the silences that prevent people who use alternative ways to communicate from protecting themselves from sexual abuse. It is about giving people with complex communication needs the information, education and means to communicate about healthy sexuality and sexual abuse”.
The Speak Up web site can be found at

No-Tech Ideas

  • Kids like to share information about themselves and their experiences. Take photos at a party and make up a small communication book using a dollar store photo album. Add labels that invite interaction from others, e.g. “I went to the Very Merry Mickey Party at Disney. That’s me with Baloo the bear. If you went to Disney, who would you party with?”
Light Tech Ideas
High Tech Ideas
  • Music files can be played on some dynamic display devices – choose the music ahead of time and be the DJ!
  • Photos can also be added to devices – perfect for sharing information about the party at a later date. Some Speech Generating Devices, such as the Tango! ®, even have the camera built in! 

    Opportunities to Learn
    Don’t forget… Coming Spring 2009!   
    ICE (Independence, Community & Empowerment) Conference:
    “It’s All About Hope”
    This is an event created by and for individuals who use AAC and their families. It was designed to bring the community of people who use AAC together to share ideas, learn from each other, and create new friendships. Keep checking the ICE website for details.
    Fun Stuff!
    Tuesdays Feb 3 - Apr 14
    6-6:45 pm @ TVCC, Fee: $70
    Fun interactive music program for children with disabilities and their siblings. This is a partnership between TVCC and Music for the Very Young.        
    More information on this and other upcoming activities at:
Resources: Check out the following websites for great information and ideas…

Intellitools Ready Made Activities