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  • Writer's pictureMary Lishomwa

"If she only had her speaking voice, I would barely know her..."

Welcome to our June 2022 blog! So much to share this month...

What we love...

We stumbled across these images quite by accident, but love them! As mother to a child with complex communication needs, I often find myself trying to find a succinct way to explain why my child does not use verbal communication, and more importantly, why that does not indicate anything about her intelligence or ability to understand the world around her. Its emotionally exhausting.

These slides from Not an Autism Mom give a great overview of apraxia of speech with simple explanations that this Mumma will be keeping in her tool kit! You can read the full blog post here


What we are reading...

This month we are reading "Raising a Rare Girl: A memoir about parenting, disability and the beauty of being human" by Heather Lanier.

I always know a book is 'speaking' to me if I'm constantly dog earing pages as I read, as the words on the page impact on or move me. And this book has plenty of 'dog ears'!

Raising a Rare Girl documents a mothers journey through first learning her daughter has a serious genetic syndrome, and then finding her unique path to acceptance and advocacy, underlined by a fierce love for her non-verbal child with complex medical needs.

The author at times presents her story through a religious or spiritual lens that may not suit every reader, but gives her story a very personal authenticity.

I would recommend this book to any parent of a child with complex needs, in the hope you too resonate with the authors experience, and that it gives you that little boost of strength that you may need today, or tomorrow...

I would also recommend it to allied health and medical professionals, as this book will give you even more insight to what the parents and families you support experience.

Finally, a quote from the book that we loved:

"With her voice, she can say "Mommy" and "Daddy". With her talker, she can tell me that today is Friday and she's going to the therapy gym in the afternoon and she wants to ride on the big swing and the tire swing and do an art project. With her voice she can say "bus" . With her talker, she can tell me who she sat next to at school and what they talked about and what she wants to have for dinner and whether she's feeling tired or happy or cranky.

With her talker, she tells jokes and is sassy and is proud, so proud, to tell us things and to connect with us. If she only had her speaking voice, I would barely know her." (Dana Nieder, as cited in Lanier, H; 2020; Raising a Rare Girl - A memoir about parenting, disability and the beauty of being human; Piatkus, Great Britain)


Who we are following...

Have you come across the AAC Coach yet? Kate McLaughlin is a highly qualified Speech-Language Pathologist AAC Enthusiast who runs a wonderful Facebook page on all things AAC.

She frequently posts informative and helpful slides or images (such as shown here) that promote AAC and how to build our skills as communication partners.

Its definitely worth following the AAC Coach page on Facebook, or check out their website

and subscribe to their mailing list here!


And finally...

We were super excited to be sending out some gorgeous A5 PODD books this month to a little girl in Queensland. She loves birds, especially kookaburras, and has a LOT to say!

PS: don't forget all our PODD books come with 15 replacement pages in the first 3 months from order.....

Thanks for reading!

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