I woke up around 6:30 last Sunday morning, thinking about Joey and the word want. It has been weeks now, and Joey and I continue to fight our War on Want . It is perplexing for all of us who work with him, because he is so quick to use his eye gaze system to answer questions about a book, label objects in his environment, or to tell us how he feels. But using it to make a request seems to be difficult for him. Even using his eye gaze to confirm what he wants using the yes/no buttons can become a fight. [Read more…]
For those of you who have been following this blog, you know that it is intended to capture Joey’s journey as we watch him develop and learn. Yet in many ways, this blog is documenting my own journey as his teacher as well. As I watch Joey learn and quickly grasp onto new tasks, I find myself asking many questions along the way about how best to apply what I already know about teaching children with disabilities and child development to Joey and his unique needs. [Read more…]
On Thursday, Joey and I stared at each other, silently. My goal in the moment was for Joey to select the word ‘want’ on his AAC eye gaze device. Joey’s goal was to get me to give him a stuffed owl he had dropped on the floor. In my perfectly planned lesson, these two goals would work together. Joey would use the device to say “want” and then I would give him the owl. Joey though, did not show any interest in selecting the ‘want’ icon.
This battle over the word ‘want’ has been going on for four sessions now. I model using the word want and then prompt, prod, and encourage Joey to select ‘want’. In response, Joey reaches into his communicative skills to do anything he can to NOT select ‘want’. [Read more…]
Joey giggled as he selected the number 14 from the two cards I’d placed in front of him, and then giggled further as I slid the 14 into the correct spot on the calendar. Apparently, something about the 14 was very, very funny. We had just begun using a preschool wall calendar with Joey, and we were all a bit surprised at just how much Joey enjoyed the calendar work. After his giggling over the number 14, I took two other numbers out of the pocket calendar – the 3 and the 5 – and asked Joey to give me the number 3. He giggled again, giving him his biggest smile, as though to say “I love these numbers. Give me some more.” [Read more…]