July Core Word Activities: Week 2
This week, our augmentative alternative communication (AAC) activities focused on the words THEY, BEFORE, LATER, MUCH. I selected these from the PrACCtical AAC's list of core words for July. My goal is do one fifteen to twenty minute activity per day that allows me to model the words and motivate Nathaniel to use his device and learn new language skills. I am currently trying to model three to five word utterances.
We had physical therapy on Monday morning (not our normal time slot) which meant we missed the AAC activity time in our morning. Read how I handle schedule disruptions and how I incorporated this week's words into our afternoon enrichment activities at this post.
We played Pop the Pig. I modeled "He eats too MUCH" multiple times after I fed the pig his burger but before I pushed down on his head. Later in the game, I encouraged Nathaniel to mimic this communication. I also commented on the burgers, "THEY are blue. THEY are yellow. THEY are number 3's," as we sorted them into piles.
Nathaniel really enjoyed playing with marbles during our math lesson on Tuesday, so I got them out again. At first we enjoyed just pushing them back and forth burying each other's legs. "You have too MUCH!" "I have too MUCH!" Lots of giggles. "How MUCH do you have?" We practiced counting. We sorted the marbles. "THEY are big." "THEY are little." "BEFORE you push, look here!" "THEY are pretty COLORS." (Color was in last week's list.) Our older boys had wood and rubber band marble shooters, and we found them in the toy box. We shot marbles across the floor. "THEY go fast!" "THEY go everywhere!" Definitely decided marbles are for days when I have a lot of patience.
We play with Squigz a lot for building hand strength. Today we got them out for our AAC activity. I stuck a bunch to the white board side of our easel and we talked about them as Nathaniel pulled them off. "Pull blue BEFORE red." "I pull green LATER." "I put blue up BEFORE green." When this got old, we sorted the Squigz nto color piles. I modeled "How MUCH?" and we counted each pile. This activity required Nathaniel to slow down an activity he wanted to do very quickly to communicate.
We played with matchbox cars - always a favorite for Nathaniel. Favorite things increase motivation to communication. We built a short track ending under our loveseat and raced four cars down quickly one after the other. Then we ran around to the other side of the couch to see which one went the farthest. Phrases I used during this activity included: "BEFORE THEY go, clear the path!" "BEFORE THEY go, let's count down." "THEY go now!" "You have too MUCH." "THEY go fast!" We then sorted the cars into two piles so I could model "THEY will go LATER," pointing to one pile and "THEY go BEFORE the (red) car," about the other pile.
We write about some of the books we read this week at this post. If you know of other books that work well with this set of words, please leave a comment!
Nathaniel is a five year old non-speaking child who uses multiple modalities to communicate. His communication device is an iPad with the app Speak for Yourself. He is in kindergarten and is taught at home. Read more about his and our family's journey through blog posts and at his Facebook page, Hold My Words.