Sunday, April 19, 2015


A hash tag has been created for sharing pictures and stories on Facebook of AAC users doing more than just making requests. I posted a picture of Lucy earlier this week and it was the first time I've ever even used a hash tag. I'm not even sure if that is supposed to be all one word or two, but I'm going to type it as two. The idea is that while it is undeniably valuable and amazing for Lucy to be able to make requests, there is more to her and her abilities in using her Tobii and PODD than to just ask for "more". Admittedly, I LOVE it when she says, "I want Tinkerbell doll" or when she asks for a specific snack or to play with her Barbies or My Little Ponies. It makes my heart soar to know what she wants and likes to play with. But she is capable of so much more! She makes statements, asks questions, makes demands, tells us (most of the time) when something is wrong, and can answer questions. She tells people she loves them and greets them and tells them goodbye.  And makes requests, all in one day!

Before starting this post I looked back through pictures to see what pictures I had of things Lucy has said recently and look what I found:

She asked this while her great-grandparents were on vacation for a few weeks. We usually see them at least once a week and she wondered when we were going to see them next.

This was at supper. She is always ready for bed at supper.

This was about a painting she had just finished!

And this was from yesterday after we talked about Chad getting her bike out of the basement for her first bike ride of the year! I asked if she was talking about her bike and she confirmed yes with a head nod. Dad had not forgotten:

I am always racking my brain to think of things she might want to say, and what other kids her age might want to talk about. Her and I are always reading a Disney Fairy chapter book and the way the fairies greet each other is to say, "Fly with you" instead of hello. So just this week I added that to a page of greetings I have made for her in her PODD on her Tobii, in addition to what was already there, and she was tickled. She even greeted me with it when I sat down to feed her lunch one day. 

I love the idea of showing the world everything people who use alternative means of communication are capable of. These devices and books, and everything else people use are not just a means for relaying their basic needs and wants. It is the key to letting their true selves out for everyone to see and know. It is a slow, delicate process, requiring a lot of patience, consistency, persistence, and belief in the AAC user. But as time goes on and you see just what your child, loved one, student, or patient are capable of, it makes every ounce of effort worth it! 

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