- When starting with AAC, keep it light and fun, no pressure
- Don't ask her to label items, foster actual communication about the items instead
- In the beginning, a lot of communication will likely be food-driven (or, in Maya's case, milk-driven. Little milkaholic.)
I've resisted the urge to push, which has been difficult. We have this amazing thing! We should dive into it! We should open words and build full sentences and work on grammar and oh-does-she-even-know-pronouns? and should we start showing her the keyboard and how to spell her name and . . . . well, you see. My brain gets away from me.
I want to run towards the water and jump in and swim laps and splash. But Maya is 3. She wants to sit on the steps with her feet in the water. And I've been respecting that. (Well, mostly. You'll see in one video that I draw a line and make her practice turning on the iPad before we read some books, and in the other I try to show her the "stickers" button. I'm starting to push, respectfully.)
In this video, Maya shows how she's learned to turn on the iPad, and we talk about reading:
In this picture, you can see one of her favorite things to say (the top sentence bar shows her word history): want-want-want-want-want etc.
This video shows an exciting development: this week she's started to explore the vocabulary on the app. She likes tapping her way around, visiting her favorite words and finding new ones. It's a big step---one that shows she is definitely interested in an unprompted way---and I'm really excited to see it starting.
Also, at the end of the video I included a clip of how things aren't all perfect. There are plenty of moments that don't pan out all that well. I thought that this is important to see in case any other parents of potential AAC users are watching and thinking "Oh, Maya does this perfectly and my kid couldn't." Well, Maya's not perfect (and neither am I), and we're learning together.
Also, here's what Maya's teacher had to say on Monday: "Maya has gotten a lot more accurate with pointing to what she wants on the iPad" Woo hoo!