Ideally, a person’s communication system should be modelled and used as much as possible. That being said, it’s a big ask for staff who support a person using AAC to completely change how they interact with the person and implement all the learning that has been provided through training.
It is a steep learning curve and the stakes are high. If we get this right, it means that we create a culture of communication where everyone’s method of communicating is valued, and we increase the likelihood of a person learning to be an independent communicator.
Starting off this journey with achievable and enjoyable tasks can be a great way to promote communication and learning, and remove some of the fear about “getting it right”.
The 5 Day Chatting Challenge
I made this challenge to give to staff supporting a person who uses a PODD book and PODD on a high tech communication system. Staff are learning how to use the light tech PODD and model messages, as well as set up the high tech system and use it throughout the day.
The challenge will run for the work week and will provide staff with practise using:
- The first two core vocabulary pages in a PODD book
- Single words in the PODD book to go with what they are saying aloud
- “More to say” with the pragmatic branch starters on page 2
- Page navigations to make longer messages
By including boxes to tick, I’m communicating the idea that there are lots of opportunities throughout the day to model these messages.
Hopefully, staff will find the task an enjoyable way to further develop their skills in using the PODDs and might like the added incentive of competing against their colleagues to secure a mystery prize!