A Week of AAC: Day 4

Today was a good day. We had a couple of magic AAC moments this morning and a lovely refreshing walk this afternoon.

Still feeling positive and confident after yesterday’s 1voice session we got some AAC modelling into our day straight after breakfast.

I thought we might play with Noodle’s baby dolls. She hasn’t played with them for ages and I was also feeling modelling pretend play was something we’d not done for a while. Noodle was not very keen to begin with really. She didn’t play with the dolls much held a hairbrush for a bit and looked at me like a 6 year old going on 15! I thought maybe she just needed to see the dolls a bit more so I modelled the play and vocabulary a bit more she pushed the doll away… I was getting the message at the point… but then she did something marvellous! She picked up the laminated Supercore Learning Grid we had for the activity and handed it to me, didn’t look at it, didn’t play with it (she likes to give laminated pages a good flap in general), and passed it to me…. ‘I don’t want to play this’ was the message, loud and clear!

There was some train track and little trains in a bag next to me so I thought we’d see how they went instead. Quite a different reaction, Noodle reached into the bag to get things out (a relatively new skill to be established) and we built a track, me modelling all the time on another Supercore Learning Grid (which she picked up, inspected, flapped and put back down to get on with the play). We also got her iPad (with Grid for iPad supercore30) out. It has a lovely flexible mount which doubled up as a bridge for our trains. We played, and modelled. We have a little remote control train with a very simple remote and with support to stabilise this she set the trains going and I occasionally stopped them and modelled ‘stop’ and ‘go’. One one occasion she was holding the remote and, i can’t be sure if intentionally or not, stopped the train. This was the magic though she then COMPLETELY SPONTANEOUSLY AND ACCURATELY selected ‘stop’ on the iPad TWICE and looked at the train. This is one of a handful of moments when I’ve been 100% confident of her intention and accuracy. To give this some background and context ‘stop’ and ‘more’ are two of the first ‘core vocabulary’ words we introduced and started to model for Noodle about 4/5 years ago. Certainly a lot of time energy and modelling and waiting, modelling and waiting has got us to this point.

Fun with trains (yes they’re still Christmas socks… they’re just cosy OK :))

This afternoon we had a lovely walk. It was AAC lite but what with the bumpy roads, movement, sun, wind and driving rain I’m certain it was a sensory experience to remember!! After that what could we do but nap, eat and go to bed!

So I’ve been in the habit of rating my days… is today a 10? Maybe, it’s always motivating to seen when things stick. The risk is though that we start chasing the days that are a 10, where things come together and we see moments of intentional communication with AAC. That doesn’t happen every day, it doesn’t happen most days. Knowing I’ve done something every day is good enough. Even days where we don’t use AAC in any meaningful way at all are wins if I remember to forgive myself at the end of the day and remember the days like this one and trusting it will all come together in a way that works for us.

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