In celebration of AAC Awareness Month this October, we asked you to share stories and pictures of the funny, embarrassing, special, entertaining, and typical things that students are able to say because of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). Yesterday’s post (Part 1) included AAC learners sharing their opinions about a situation, talking about feelings, showing off their literacy skills, and protesting! Here are more From the Hands of Babes posts and communication functions that are possible because of AAC students can…
Maya, her bunny, and I spent this morning in the hospital while she had her first sedated test in many years (and I feel fortunate for that “in many years”, because I know that there are families reading this who don’t get that sort of a break). I forgot what it’s like to whisper “Sleep well, I love you” and then walk out of the room, leaving her behind with nurses and doctors. This stuff. It’s hard stuff. ~Shared by Uncommon Sense Blog
A new-to-me student sitting with his aide independently used the search feature to find words and answer comprehension questions. Once he searched for the words, he used them without the help of the search feature to answer a different question. Impressive!
I silently wondered about his spontaneous communication and made a note to ask later.
Another adult in the classroom commented that he was so smart as she walked past. The student, without missing a beat, went to his device and said, “I am the best,” then smiled at her. Well, that answered my question.~Shared by Speak for Yourself
Yesterday, H gestured for me to put a figurine on his Playmobil “swings carousel” toy. Then he asked me to put a yellow toy on (he has a set of 5 colors of plastic things that are supposed to be chip clips but are now guys that ride his rides!). I put all 5 of the colors on to fill up the ride, assuming he wanted that because he usually does. He got upset and I wasn’t sure what was wrong.
Normally he is not able to clearly articulate the problem using his Talker. I might get one or two words and have to ask lots of follow up questions. This time he got his Talker and said “colors swings carousel no off”! He hadn’t wanted all of the colors to go on the ride and he doesn’t have the motor skills to take them off himself. I was so proud of him! He doesn’t usually say “no” or “off” with his Talker.
Here’s to having #allthewords for all different scenarios, including protesting! ~Shared by Neurokaleidoscope
I’m working with a student who loves books. In one of the books today, the character also loved books and wanted to go to the library.
As I read, I modeled key words on his device and one of the phrases I modeled was “go library.”
A little later, as we played with a bus, I modeled “open” as we pushed the button that opened the bus door. Then I said, “I wonder where the bus is going…” And looked at the device.
The student looked at the bus then said, “go library read book.”
This student answered an indirect question, used a phrase I had modeled earlier in a different activity, and provided more information than I asked.
Because of AAC, he can show his imagination. ~Shared by Speak for Yourself
H frequently will drag us by the hand to show us what he wants or to get us to look at what he’s doing. While I respect this as a valid way to communicate, it is limiting, so I also encourage him to use his Talker to tell us what he wants. This is especially true when I’m in the middle of a task and I’m not sure whether he’s just asking me to come play or if there is something he needs help with right then. Or when I’m sitting near him and he wants me to look at his toy but doesn’t want me to actually DO anything.
I love that he wants to share his play with me! I’ve been trying to suggest that he can say “Mommy, look” when he wants to show me something. I have been modeling “look” and “Mommy look” for a couple of weeks.
One day last week I was using the computer and he was sitting a few feet away, playing with his carnival ride toys. I heard, “Look”. “Look Look”. I was so excited, I jumped up and made a huge deal out of the fact that he used words to get my attention. He was really proud of himself, too, and showed me how he was organizing the guys that go on the rides.~Shared by Neurokaleidoscope
Speak for Yourself has helped my daughter learn our names!! She has become much more verbal (with her mouth) since using the app. I think seeing the pictures along with hearing the word has really helped her make that connection that words can be used to communicate her wants and needs. She regularly calls me mommy now and she knows her baby brother’s name too! We are still working on Daddy and her other 2 brothers. She can point them out when asked, on the app! Not verbally yet.
~Shared by Stephanie Testa
We are seeing more and more novel sentences… and I love hearing his thoughts…. I didn’t even know he knew where the word flashlight was! ~Shared by Sheri Hurtado Freyre
~ Shared by Jordan Barbay
Touch Someone’s Heart
Because everyone, no matter hold old they are should be able to tell their mama “Happy Birthday” for the first time ever! My daughter told me last night for the first time. She is 23! After Happy Birthday, she said “Mama…Cake”!!! ~Shared by Julie Bartley
Thanks so much to everyone who shared stories with us! Once you put communication in someone’s hands, you never know what you’ll hear from the hands of babes!