In a collaborative effort to amplify Autistic voices, I'm sharing @nigh.functioning.autism 's word from her Instagram page on my public blog. I have asked permission to share her words because I believe her experiences as an Autistic person are important & need to be heard & recognized, especially my parents of Autistic Kids.
"When it comes to teaching and learning communication: You can’t break your kid. You can’t break your device. You can’t permanently mess up the kid nor the AAC software or device. Chillax and just do it. If you mess up, learn to fix it. Teach your kid how to fix it. Learn how to fix it in front of them. Bottom line is the more they see their people use AAC, the sooner they will learn to use AAC.
3 REASONS WHY BEING BAD (and/or new) AT MODELING SPEECH GENERATING AAC IS ACTUALLY A GREAT THING AS A CAREGIVER OR THERAPIST:
1. You being terrible and unknowledgeable while STILL modeling shows your new AAC learner that they can also learn and adapt and eventually gain proficiency if they keep at it. Don't underestimate the power of learning by mistakes. It's no secret that when little kids are learning to use mouth words, they learn a lot from the mistakes of other kids around them. Why should AAC be any different?
2. As with most newer technology and young folks these days, you will most likely suck just enough for them to get frustrated to take it from you and do it themselves... or even show you or make fun of you. Once you pick your pride up from the floor, you can use it on seeing your learner in action... because you were so bad. But see how that can be good?
3. Your feelings of intimidation will mentally put you in the same mindset your learner might have with communicating in general. How many times have caregivers said that you just want to know what your child is thinking or feeling? Being new to AAC yourself and using it in all types of situations will give you that insight to how they will be feeling and thinking in those same situations. That's so much more helpful to them than looking at people help your child or getting lessons. Those are great as well, but they can't teach the feeling of using it.
As a reminder, these are @nigh.functioning.autism 's words shared from her Instagram page. I'm sharing a collection of her words so that parents of disabled kids can read & learn from an Autistic Adult & hopefully better understand.
I'm also sharing TJ's PayPal account. She posts this information for anyone willing to donate should they learn something from her sharing this information.