Thursday, August 25, 2016

AAC - Curious George Gets a Talker

When children are provided something that they perceive makes them different compared to their peers, many children can experience resistance, frustration, embarrassment or just a general feeling of being uncomfortable. The Nieder Family posted on the Uncommon Sense blog a book displaying how Curious George, a well-known and beloved character, received an AAC device. The hopes of producing this book are to alleviate the less desirable feelings for students being introduced to or currently utilizing augmentative modes of communication. Not only is this resource helpful, but it is also printable. Please continue to read the original article below and view the printable book! 

Who doesn't love Curious George? He's a clever, lovable monkey who cheerfully dives into one adventure after another. He's also uniquely relatable to children with limited speech, because he doesn't talk. He communicates in a variety of interesting ways (gestures, sounds, signs, presenting clues, etc) . . . but his lack of speech often leads to confusion.

Seems like he would be a perfect candidate for AAC.

George would really benefit from having a robust AAC system, and AAC users would really benefit from seeing a popular cartoon character learn to use an AAC system.

So, without further ado . . . Curious George gets a talker.

This is a 20 page (plus a cover and an intro page) book in which Curious George experiences communication challenges, receives a talker, learns to use it (with modeling help) and has new communicative success.

(Disclaimer: Curious George and associated art is by Margret & H.A. Rey and their artists. I've just inserted some talkers and wrote a story around the pictures. This "book" is a printable homemade PowerPoint project, not an actual text to order.)

The entire thing is available as a free downloadable powerpoint file here.

When we thought Maya might need hearing aids, a lovely friend of mine sent us a stuffed animal that wore hearing aids. Maya loved it, it made the hearing aids seem cool and fun, and it was a great jumping off point for discussion. I hope that this book serves a similar purpose for some AAC users, their families, their friends and classmates, and the professionals that serve them.

PS. I'll post a few behind-the-scenes photos of the making of this book on the Uncommon Sense Facebook page in the next day or two. I'm sure tech people will cringe at my very very low tech production.

As a side note, I experimented with whether to include quote bubbles coming out of the talker (quotes from George or from communication partners who are modeling). On one hand, the story is about gaining a new voice, and it seems important to hear that voice. On the other, I felt like it would be more beneficial for readers to leave that to the imagination---it provides a discussion point on each page ("What do you think George is saying to the librarian?") and an opportunity for the readers to add to the story.

1 comment:

  1. There is a definite stigma that students feel when they have to utilize something different, no matter how valuable it is for them. This is a great way for younger students to feel a little more comfortable about it!


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