As I mentioned last week, Joey’s data has reflected that although he is talkative during read alouds, he is the most talkative when he is engaged when we are playing with a ball or a toy car. My goal for this week was to find a book that would let me keep working on Joey’s academic goals, while also providing us with an opportunity to play ball. I have also been waiting to read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh with Joey for awhile and while it does not have anything to do with balls, we can bring balls into the play by working on colors and counting, which are themes addressed in the book. [Read more…]
Lately, I’ve noticed that Joey’s speech increases significantly when we are playing ball. He will often request to play ball at random times during our lesson. Of course, I come to our sessions with plans, and rarely do those plans involve just playing ball. But, because the data shows that Joey is more talkative when we play ball, I keep letting us play in between our books and other activities. [Read more…]
Last fall Joey started using an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) eye gaze device. But what does augmentative and alternative communication even mean?
The AAC page on Wikipedia states, “Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language. AAC is used by those with a wide range of speech and language impairments, including congenital impairments such as cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment and autism, and acquired conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. AAC can be a permanent addition to a person’s communication or a temporary aid.”
“Buttons come and buttons…” I paused
“GO!” Joey blurted out with a huge smile. He has just started finishing off the last word in Pete the Cat’s reassuring mantra, and he beams with pride each time he does. With that last GO, I closed the book and smiled.
This time Joey did not join me.
Joey’s hand hovered over mine, with a slow and thoughtful purpose. The intense stare on his face told me that he was telepathically telling his hand to stay where it was, and then open his fingers to release the foam letter he was so forcefully clutching. His focus was similar to what one observes on the faces of college math majors pouring over a new problem. He was going to release this letter. Nothing would distract him.