A fortnight of ups and downs: illness and 1voice.

At the beginning of October (when I was away on holiday) the task of keeping up a post a day for AAC awareness month this October seemed entirely achievable. Simple, I’ll just write a bit or share a bit every day. Well no, not so simple as it turns out. The momentum of early in the month waned as new challenges came to the fore.

In short it’s been a week or so of getting by. Lucy’s not been too well, not very ill but unwell enough that we’ve had to have some time off and sort out some appointments. Also unwell enough that, how shall I put it, her fuse is quite short. Things she would take in her stride have caused upset and tearfulness. In terms of her AAC iPad she is mostly a) keeping is close to her face, staring at the glowing screen and pushing all the device (and my) buttons repeatedly or b) pushing it away. Modelling has gone to pot as I can’t usually get to the screen. Now if I wasn’t tired and worried I’d probably find all kinds of ways to deal with this but this last two weeks my solution has been to pretty much ignore it and get on with the task at hand. Namely getting her well while also managing work, cleaning, laundry and the rest.

Its always good to find a sliver lining though. In fact I have managed to find two.

First, I think that when she’s holding the iPad so close to her face and selecting lots of buttons I’ve noticed that she then likes to select the sentence strip and hear all the words back. I’m taking this as a positive step in her ability to operate the software, just as important a skill as learning the words if she’s going to use AAC long term.

Second, and this one is a biggie, we went to our first 1voice event. 1voice is a UK based charity supporting individuals who use AAC and their families. It was super. The session was online as clearly we’re not meeting in person at the moment. It all went smoothly and it was so great to get to know and chat to another family about our experiences of AAC use and of accessing SLT support for it (while we have good support now this has not always been the case). I’m now on the family facebook group and so excited about getting involved with this brilliant organisation.

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