In the wake of a couple of big Joy meetings recently (Agency 2 and also IEP), we've been upping the ante a little bit on her photo-communication. Some neat stuff to share.
First, we've added an "all-done" card into the mix. Her cards have all been photos so far, but this one is a Boardmaker image that has a line-drawing showing a person making the "all-done" sign.
Until now, we've been able to offer choices between two photos, but haven't given her a similar means of choosing/communicating that she's finished with a toy or activity. But now, let's say we're out on the deck with the trike. She's played with it a while, then gotten up. Now we can swoop in and ask the question: "More trike? Or, all done?"
Then if she picks "all done", we abandon the trike and set up another choice between two or three different options.
The other thing that we've been trying is a single-button communication device. The parent/barista/whomever records a word or phrase on the device. Then Joy "says" that word herself by pushing the button and activating the playback. She'd used it with some success at daycare for things like "more" at snacktime and "my turn" when the group played games (they'd pass the button around and have other kids say "my turn" in the same way).
New twist at home is using the photo cards to indicate what pressing the button will "say".
So there's the button, with a velcro on it to hold a photo card.
I was worried that Joy would want only to pull the photo card off the button, since that's how she communicates with photo cards using the binder. And in fact, she did try that at first. However, she learned within maybe two days that when a photo was on the button, you pushed instead of pulling. Clever girl!
One of our favorite button-requests is "Let's jump!" Joy loves to grab an adult's hands and get them to help her jump to impossible heights. Lately she's even been putting little cheerleader kicks and splits into her jumps! If the button is programmed and available, though, we're nudging her to "ask" with the button.
I saw such a button used to very cool effect last year when Rose sang with the other kindergarten and first-grade classes at school. There were a coveted few speaking parts that had been doled out among the first-graders. One of the first-graders who "spoke" a part did so by means of a push-button switch! Powerful stuff.
Rose (who had one of the speaking parts in this year's concert) has gotten involved in programming the button too. It's lovely to hear Joy speak with her sister's voice.
More to say? Nah. All done!