This is how I felt when I was told that the Learning to Speak AACtion plan was a 12-week program. There was no doubt that I would participate, but it sounded overwhelming, I’m a horrible student and I have fears.
The first two weeks of the plan were easy, however, by the third week, I realized that I was only retaining words in my short-term memory. There were a few words that I consistently missed and this rattled me. It was obvious I needed to do something different, or I wouldn’t keep up with the cumulative effect of the program. My fears were being realized.
Everything changed on the fourth week. I was playing with the words when something clicked. I found it was more meaningful to remember if they were put in a longer sentence. I don’t expect Jess to build these sentences, however, they will make it possible for me to model one word beyond what she is able to say.
Every morning I review the words from the previous weeks before practicing sentences. Like a pangram, I build the sentences using the words in each list.
These are what I’ve come up with for the 5th week:
- I put on my socks and you take them off
- I know you can take me to the top of the mountain
- Sit down and close your eyes.
- We will open our eyes together.
- If I can do it my myself then you can do it yourself.
- Please carry that here and put it next to that toy.
- Did you know that I like to go outside
What makes this fun is that this system approach is actually working. It’s probably stating the obvious, but It’s no fun when you suck.
Jess listens as I model and I am hearing her using the new words. (these are new words to me, she’s had them opened for quite some time, I just wasn’t modeling them).
I hope the adage is true, practice makes perfect. I’m not so sure about ever being perfect, but we will be much improved.