Children learn to speak by being immersed in language. All around them people are modelling how to speak. This modelling happens not only when people are speaking to the child but also to each other.
It’s the same for learning a second language. The best way to learn to speak French is to go to France.
People learning to use alternative communication methods often experience a big difference in the language used by people around them and the language they are expected to use on their communication system. To enable them to learn to use their communication system their entire network of family, friends, supporters and people in the community need to be able to use their communication tool.
But how do you enable that to happen? Here are some ideas…..
- Put together a powerpoint training pack you can share with people about how to use the tool.
- Create some videos and share them on Youtube with your family member’s social and paid support networks
- Hold a pizza night and play some communication games:
- retelling a well known children’s story (Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood etc)
- Charades – instead of acting out the movie, book or well known phrase, describe them using the communication device
- Group story writing – make up a silly story and tell it using the communication device. Each person takes a turn to write one line of the story. You can provide a starting sentence to the story to get everyone thinking. For example One day the caterpillar hatched out of a tiny egg and he was very hungry. Then the murders began….
- Hold a silent morning tea – invite people over for morning tea or go out to a cafe and nobody is allowed to speak for the entire event.