This week, the TWT team presents part 2 of Rachel’s interview with Caitlyn Calder, parent of a child with complex communication needs and SLP at CHI St. Luke’s Health in Houston TX. Caitlin continues to share from all that she has learned about being a parent of an AAC user, including thinking of parents as “co-clinicians”, how she second-guessed herself about her daughter’s progress with her device, how grief can impact family buy-in, and more.
Before the interview, Rachel and Chris talk about running a “virtual 5k” called Sophie’s 5k to help fund devices for people with complex communication needs (runsophies5k.com) and Chris’s latest stories involving characters that use technology to communicate. Listen for free at nightlightstories.net !
Key ideas this week:
🔑 Caitlin’s daughter learned how to communicate much faster once there was more family buy-in for modeling. Showing parents how to model by watching the SLP do it first can be very helpful.
🔑 It can be really stressful for parents when a child starts to make progress with AAC, because often the family could have started supporting AAC sooner. It’s important to recognize that progress can be made at any age and to celebrate success rather than focus on what could have been done at a younger age.
🔑 Parents of students with disabilities experience grief in different ways at different times. The grief can be so overwhelming at times that working with a device feels impossible, but that doesn’t mean that it will feel impossible forever.
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