October is Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC) Awareness Month. Earlier this month, we asked you to post pictures of funny, amazing, adorable things that your children and clients say using their AAC systems. We gave away a beach towel that can also be used as a low tech core vocabulary option each week as part of the “From the Hands of Babes” campaign.
Reading through the posts, I was impressed with all of the functions of communication used and the creative ways that students find to express themselves. As AAC Awareness Month comes to a close, let’s celebrate the things individuals are able to share because of AAC!
Because of AAC, students can…
Share Their Opinions About a Situation
When you’re really mad that daddy went camping and you can’t go too. And when mom says sorry that’s the way it is, you call her mean. ~shared by Mariko Taylor
As the meeting went on, I don’t recall if Jess was making a comment, or was exasperated by the first speaker monologing (there were five more departments sharing reports) when she tapped “ridiculous”. This caused three people in earshot to chuckle and they gave knowing glances. At that moment, the woman next to Jess did a double take, she was re-assessing Jess. I then asked Jess to put her Talker into whisper mode so she didn’t interrupt the meeting again. I’m pretty sure she was bored and wanted to change the subject.
~Shared by You Don’t Say AAC
So I’m working on some stuff and out of the corner of my eye, I see a naked Braxton running through the living room. I said “Oh, man! No, Braxton!” jumped up and ran to check for a diaper and hoped it wasn’t poop smeared all over his room. It was poop. Thankfully only a small amount on the tile. *whew* Easy to clean. Next thing I know, here comes Braxton with his talker and I hear “Aww Man!” 😂😂
He’s getting really good at repeating words and phrases that he hears with his talker! I couldn’t help but laugh as I cleaned him up.
Life lesson: Even when things are $h!&ty, you just gotta laugh! ~Shared by Journey Full of Life
Talk About Feelings
A story for AAC Awareness month — something happened yesterday that we have long wished for, in fact when Sig’s new teacher asked if we had any goals in mind for the school year, I described this.
Signe became inconsolable, and was taken to the nurse, who asked her “what hurts?” Signe used her talker to say, “head” then “face”.
I know that sounds like a SAD story, so you should know that she seemed cheerful when she got home.
We often suspect that she has some kind of dental pain, but it’s never really clear. She doesn’t gesture to any part of her body or indicate anything specific, and as a result there have been times over the years when we’ve discovered a specific dental problem after it had been there for a long time and she was surely suffering.
Besides dental pain, significant parts or her medical management depend on the communication of pain or discomfort. This has been bewildering for us. Being able to communicate this sort of thing is a huge breakthrough! ~Shared by Christy Collins
I put on a nursery rhyme video for the girls and H ran out of the room and sat with me in the other room. He said “TV off”. I asked if it was too sad because it was the “3 Little Kittens Who Lost Their Mittens” song, which I also find distressing. The mother cat tells them they are naughty and can’t eat and then the kittens cry.
H has hyper-empathy (so do I) and feels other people’s feelings strongly. He’s always been upset by books or TV when characters cry.
He said “pizza cat sandwich cat sad”. Hungry, sad kitties are not our favorite. While we’re at it, that song about the mother duck calling quack, quack, quack, quack, and none of her little ducks coming back is terrible, too. ~Shared by Neurokaleidoscope
Show off Their Literacy Skills
And just because I’m one proud mama… He is using his talker to spell words he identifies while we read… ~Shared by Sheri Hurtado Freyre
AAC & literacy! Child typed this while teacher Melissa Leger was reading to the class! Look closely to see the use of “was in” for “was not/wasn’t.” ~Shared by Christie Zeringue
When asked what he wanted to eat. NOT impressed with school lunch options….(I can’t say that I blame him). ~Shared by Marie Grothus Conway
An older student, exploring her new AAC system, kept going to the family page and saying the names of each member of her family (dogs included:)
Me: Who are you going to talk to first when you get home?
Her (immediately and smiling): Dad
Me: I bet he is going to be so excited to hear what you have to say! What are you going to tell him?
Her: No (hysterical laughter) ~Shared by Speak for Yourself
For more stories “From the Hands of Babes” check out Part 2 of the post round up! Hope you have all enjoyed these as much as I have! Thank you to all of the AAC users, parents, and professionals for sharing your stories!