Sunday, 1 May 2011

I can...be heard!

Everyone deserves to be heard – whether making a formal speech at the ‘wedding of the year” or letting someone know you’re not comfortable.  We learn to speak up for ourselves starting at a young age, with Show & Tell and school presentations. Individuals who use AAC may want extra support and opportunities to practice and use the power of speaking out.

Start early…Effective AAC users often attribute their success in developing functional communication skills to their early opportunities with choice making. Allowing children to make choices (good or poor!) gives them some control over a situation and provides them the chance to learn from the natural consequences of their choices.

Spread the word…Why not host an AAC awareness activity in your school or community? “Talking With Our Mouths Full” is a lunch session during which people are required to use AAC methods exclusively. Quiet Coffee is a coffee session based on the same ideas. If you want to host one of these events, resources are available at http://www.tvcc.on.ca/augmentative-communication-service-7.htm. If you want to give everyone a chance to try talking using different types of AAC or need help to organize an event, contact your ACS
 clinician.

I can give speeches! One of the best ways to make yourself heard is to present your ideas to a group by giving a speech.  http://www.isaac-online.org/ie/articles/116/1/Best-practice-using-AAC-devices-to-create-presentations-and-talks/Page1.html This ISAAC resource offers great advice for creating and presenting speeches using AAC devices.
Come join in the conversations at Breaking the Ice June 3-5 in Toronto. The conference is created by and for individuals who use AAC and their families. It’s the only event of its kind in Canada and was designed to bring the community of people who use AAC together to share ideas, learn from each other, and create new friendships.  The theme for 2011 is “Embracing Life". At the Town Hall Meeting only people who use AAC may contribute to the discussion.  Help your child prepare to answer the following questions: How do you embrace life? What barriers do face when you try to embrace life?  What successful strategies have you used to overcome these barriers?  Check out the rest of the amazing conference program at http://iceconference.ca/program.html.

Making our voices heard across the Nation!  Kilometres for Communication begins this month with
Skye leaving BC May 19 to start his journey across Canada. There will be a drop-in event at TVCC on May 12 and another in Owen Sound June 30 from 12:30-2:30.  Keep checking the K4C website for details of events http://kilometresforcommunication.com/
Little Bytes:
Tell the world how you communicate! If you use alternative methods to talk, you may need to orient others so they know what to look for and how best to help. Provide a written description of how you communicate and what the listener can do to help.


No-Tech Ideas

·        Post it notes are a quick and easy way to share information, start a conversation and to let personality shine through. Use a few notes to help your child share something important. Start with a clue about the content on the first note: “I did something special at school today. Want to know more…Read on”. The listener can reveal the message note by note.

Light Tech Ideas

·        Make yourself heard by using your light tech device to tell someone what you need done and how. E.g “I need some help.”, “Can you get my communication book?”, “It’s in my backpack.”

 

High Tech Ideas

  • Stories can be programmed into a high tech device to be read. The individual using the device can read the story and then lead a discussion about the book. Talk to your ACS clinicians if you need help setting this up.
I Can…be a Star! 

Congratulations to Noah!!!  He is mastering a new language (Minspeak)
by practicing vocabulary on a laptop even before receiving his speech-generating device! Keep up the great work!   








Summer is coming! Time for Camp!
Come join us for Setting the Stage and On With The Show…Your chance to shine on stage with the Original Kids Theatre Company. Opportunities available to anyone who uses a speech-generating device. Full details available on the TVCC website http://www.tvcc.on.ca just click on the link to the OTP brochure on the main page.

Resources:
  • Older emergent writers can go one step further – they can create the story too! Caroline Musselwhite gives step by step suggestions around scaffolding a writing task by asking older students to create big books for preschool children. www.aacintervention.com/tipthre.html#May%202003

  • Read some inspiring communication success stories about several individuals with autism, who are using AAC to communicate and develop their language skills. They are in different stages of learning but all are on their way to becoming independent, spontaneous communicators: www.aacandautism.com/real-communication-stories