Friday Apr 26, 2024

Tiffany Joseph (Part 1): Educating and Supporting AAC Users as a Part-Time AAC User

This week, we present Part 1 of Rachel’s interview with the amazing Tiffany Joseph (@nigh.functioning.autism)! Tiffany is an autistic mother of three neurodivergent teens, as well as an educator, advocate, and a part-time AAC User with inconsistent verbal speech.  She explains more about situations when verbal speech becomes difficult, the ways that writing text out before hand helps her, strategies she uses when she has trouble with verbal speech, and more!


Before the interview, Chris and Rachel discuss a listener question from a parent of a teen who wants more authentic inclusion for her child, but she feels like encouraging more authentic inclusion is not very achievable. Chris and Rachel discuss the difficulty living in a world that isn’t universally designed, how we can use IEP accommodations to support UDL, cultivating belonging through inclusion, and more!


Key ideas this week:


🔑 People will point out when someone doesn’t talk as much, and it often feels uncomfortable for that person. Not everyone talks all the time, but there is often an unspoken judgement when people are described as “not talking as much.” Sometimes it feels to Tiffany that she always has to be doing something extra, like talking, for others to feel happy.


🔑 Tiffany is a dyspraxic multi modal communicator with inconsistent motor plans, including with inconsistent verbal speech. Difficulty with motor plans can include routine activities, like brushing her teeth. Some people have entire bodies like this, while other people have only parts of their bodies with these kinds of motor difficulties. You can get really anxious in social situations when your speech and motor plans work inconsistently.


🔑 Be thoughtful about saving a student’s energy for learning & communicating, and try not to overdo repetitive daily tasks you know they can do. There isn’t an unlimited well of energy available, so we should be thoughtful with what we are asking someone to do. For example, don’t want to focus on handwriting so much that it limits progress on spontaneous communication.


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