Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I can...be your valentine!

On Valentine’s Day it is traditional to let others know how we feel about them. Take a minute to think about all the ways you communicate your feelings. Consider how someone who uses AAC can reach out to his or her valentine and share the traditions of this special day!
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I can show you! There are lots of ways to create a token to share your feelings for someone. Eye gaze can be used to choose between options to create a Valentine’s card. For example, cut out pictures to make a collage. Have your child choose which pictures to add. Use feathers, stickers, stamps…. any craft items will work. Let your child direct you to create a masterpiece. Use this type of activity to work on core vocabulary, such as “more” and “all done”.

Write a poem: Create grids in software such as IntelliTools Classroom Suite or Clicker 5 for your students to write a Valentine poem. Give choices for each of the lines of the poem that the student can select. Try a Valentine Acrostic http://www.education.com/activity/article/valentine-day-acrostic or Haiku http://www.education.com/activity/article/Write_Valentines_Haiku

Play a game: Print out Valentine Bingo cards for the whole class to play. These printable cards (PDF & Boardmaker) have words and/or symbols. http://www.setbc.org/pictureset/resource.aspx?id=340
Check out the language games on the Speaking of Speech website: http://www.speakingofspeech.com/Thematic_Materials.html#Valentine's_Day 
Sign up for Boardmaker Share on the Mayer Johnson site to download Valentine’s Day books, cards, recipes, games to use within your Boardmaker software http://www.boardmakershare.com/default

Talk about Valentine’s Day: ready made topic boards are available at
ACCPC (Augmentative Communication Community Partnerships CANADA) has resources around sexuality and relationships specifically for individuals who use AAC at: http://www.accpc.ca/Resources_Sexuality.htm. (Please note – this website contains mature content).
Specific vocabulary suggestions around such topics can be found at: http://disabilities.temple.edu/aacvocabulary/SEXUALITY.shtml (Please note – this website contains mature content).

Little Bytes:
Do you use the TVCC Seating and Mobility Service? Next time you visit, ask to see the new augmentative communication boards. Designed to allow AAC users to have a say in what happens during their appointment, these boards contain vocabulary specific to body parts, wheelchair parts, mobility, etc. These boards are new, so let us know what you think.

No-Tech Ideas
  • Write Valentine’s words or thoughts onto individual Post It notes.  Arrange the notes on a larger piece of paper and let you student indicate which ones they want to include in his/her poems, cards, letter, etc. and tell you which order to put them in.
  • Take some construction paper folded in half and use letter or word-based stamps or stickers to tell your Valentine your message.

Light Tech Ideas

  • Surprise your friends with a Valentine’s Day poem, limerick or joke recorded onto your Step by Step (e.g. Knock knock, Who's there?, Frank. Frank who? Frank you for being my friend!)

High Tech Ideas

  • Share some time with those you love most – your family. How about reading a book to your little sister or brother. If you use a DynaVox V or Vmax and own the books “Polar Bear, Polar Bear” by Bill Martin Jr or “Bark George” by Jules Feiffer, ask your ACS clinician for an electronic version of the books to be added to your device. Talk to your clinicians about how you can add your own books to a device.
I Can…be a Star!
Congratulations to the Children’s Treatment Centre of Chatham-Kent for their commitment and dedication to make services more accessible for clients locally by becoming a General Level AAC Clinic.  This is the result of many months of hard work by clinicians, support from their Centre’s administration, and fundraising by the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent for the purchase of AAC equipment.  Way to go team!!!

Forest City Road Races Sunday May 1st 2011
One sure way to get your heart racing is to join in the fun at the road races. From the 1K Fun Run to the Half Marathon, there’s an event for everyone. Register now at http://forestcityroadraces.com/register.html or sponsor a runner!

I Can…Walk & Talk!  Join your ACS clinicians for the 1 km Fun Run! Register now and let us know (contact info below). We’ll arrange a meeting place and time on May 1st. Let’s see how many people who use AAC and families can join in!