AAC Awareness Month - October 2022
Firstly an apology! We are way behind on our AAC inspiration posts but that by no means indicates that we have not been inspired! However the combination of colds, COVID and an unexpected house move over winter cramped our style briefly.
October is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness month!
Its an opportunity to teach others about AAC and to 'demystify' the many different forms of communication that people with complex communication needs may use.
What we love
This month we love this message from Rett Syndrome advocacy group 'Army of Us'. We included this because processing disorders or delays are not exclusive to Rett Syndrome, but are a part of many communication disorders. Imagine understanding what was being said to you, but your complex body not allowing you to show you understand, let alone easily respond... Many people using AAC need time: time to process, time to regulate and coordinate their bodies, and most importantly time to respond.
As so aptly put by Rett Mum Kelly Butler: "Have the patience to make all her effort worthwhile". Kelly Butler October 2022
That has to be one of the most powerful sentences I've ever read!
What we are reading
Ok - so in the interest of full disclosure, we have not read this book yet but we are really looking forward to receiving our copy: Looking through my Eyes by Lydia Dawley
Lydia Dawley is an AAC user, CEO of her own company and incredible advocate for all things AAC. Through her children's books "Looking through my Eyes" and "Looking through my Eyes"- preschool edition, Lydia tells the story of a nine year old girl who has Mixed Cerebral Palsy. Even though Lydia cannot walk and talk, she does not let anything hold her back. With her supportive parents and brother, she has the courage to get herself out in the world and show what she can do!
I loved this quote from Lydia's book launch where she explained her motivation for writing the book:
"Almost every time a kid stares at me their parents tell them to stop looking at me.....it's like they are doing something bad. So naturally, kids think it is bad to interact with people with disability. I want to teach kids its ok to ask questions and to interact with people who are different, no matter what the difference is." Lydia Dawson, August 2022
You can view Lydia's full book launch video here:
What we are following
And again, a big shout out to Lydia Dawley - CEO of Click.Speak.Connect. (plus author of our book of the month) and the work she is doing to promote AAC awareness month.
This October, Lydia has been posting daily tips that she has collated from AAC users, not only providing a platform for self-advocacy for her contributors but also providing insight for communication partners so that we can do better at supporting those with complex communication needs.
We will have lots of news in the coming months so watch this space....
In the meantime, thanks for reading!