Just as I expect Jess to speak to me through her Talker, she expects me to talk through it as well.
This afternoon, I thought she was suffering from mommy deafness.
Verbally I asked her to clear the table.
Then I repeated myself using a Talker* and she didn’t hesitate to put her dish in the sink.
Being that SFY is her first language and that very few people can converse to her in AAC (she doesn’t meet many users), apparently it is comforting for her to be spoken to in her own language. This isn’t just about modeling, it is about acknowledging her voice and closing the loop.
If I were to speak to the Husband in English and he responded in Spanish, I’m sure something would get lost in the translation. Even though SFY is in English, our tapping conversations are more abbreviated. When we are verbal, we speak faster than we can tap and we tend to use more words. Maybe this is why Jess was silently objecting? It’s just not fun if you can’t get a word in edgewise when the conversation moves too fast. By speaking in SFY, the pace is more comfortable and she can maintain control.
This doesn’t mean I will only use her talker, but it does mean I need to balance both forms of communication. By addressing this in a dual way, this will help us build our AAC vocabulary and she won’t feel so pressured to keep up.
*Talker is how we refer to her AAC device.