Saturday, April 16, 2016

Don't Miss Talking About These!

The weather is getting warm again everywhere.  Here in Southern California it’s almost always time to go outside, but I do remember those cold Massachusetts days hoping that Spring was coming soon.
Warm weather means picnics and beach trips, kite flying and playground fun, walks in the park and evenings on the porch.  

Do you know what else all of those things mean?  Great opportunities to expand your child’s communication skills.  Especially if you have a child who is using AAC (augmentative-alternative communication) and needs practice in finding and using the varied vocabulary that those experiences need.
Our kids with significant communication needs really need for us to give them genuine communication opportunities in real-life situations.  So don’t go to the beach or the park, or even for a walk around the block, without their AAC system.
One of my all-time favorite activities when my kids were little was going on a picnic.  Preparing the food was more fun than chore when the objective was a picnic.  Grab the toys, pack the blankets, and head outside.
We always had one or two favorite picnic spots.  When my son was really young we lived near a great little park with a pond and ducks, and one particularly mean goose.  Having a picnic invariably meant having lots of feathered friends around us, just waiting for the crumbs.
If you have  an emerging communicator use these fun activities to have meaningful interactions with the child. Remember to model using relevant vocabulary, core words, and lots of comments.  What can you say when modeling?

Flying a kite: hold tight, pick it up, run, look, it’s flying, it’s high, uh oh, it fell down, try again

Blowing bubbles: blow, blow again, big bubbles, little bubbles, catch it, pop it, uh oh, all gone, do more

Walking the dog: let’s go, hold tight, walk slower, walk faster, not there, go here, look there, see that?, pretty flowers, that’s nice, I like this, don’t stop, let’s turn, big tree, look, home, all done, go in


Here is a topic-specific communication board to take with you on picnics.  Remember that activity-based communication boards do not take the place of a robust AAC system, and should never be all that a child has to use.  But they can e useful in the midst of a specific activity - as long as you have ways for your user to talk about other things, or let you know that’s what he wants to do.
You can find some more Summer-themed activity-based communication boards in my store here.  All of my topic boards include core words.


Have a great Spring and Summer!  Stay sunny, and Keep on Talking!



13 comments:

  1. I agree Susan: real-life situations are the best for learning language! Glad you're enjoying your weather--we're finally warming up in New Jersey!

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  2. Replies
    1. Glad you find them helpful! Thanks for reading.

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    1. Thanks. Post any others you can think of, too.

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  4. Great post on working with language naturally!

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    1. Thanks. We want to promote language in context as much as possible, don't we?

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  5. AAC devices should go everywhere! Imagine not being able to communicate? It is a terrible experience! Thanks so much for showing how great communication boards look!

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    1. We can't imagine how frustrated these kids must get! Thanks for reading.

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  6. I love language activities in a naturalistic context. They are so meaningful and relevant. Love the communication board, too. Thank you so much for the great ideas!!

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    1. You're welcome. Good language happens everywhere.

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  7. Great ideas and examples!!

    Laura
    www.discoveringhiddenpotential.com

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    Replies
    1. Glad you found them helpful. Thanks for reading.

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