This week, Rachel has an informative and engaging interview with author, YouTuber, dog trainer, and part time AAC user Brittany Dube! Brittany shares about why she is a part-time AAC user, how parents and others can better support part-time AAC users, and how we can show AAC users the respect they deserve in conversation.
Before the interview, Rachel shares a fascinating story about one of her clients who has improved his verbal speech by watching others model AAC, even when the client doesn’t use AAC himself. Its a great reminder that AAC is an excellent tool for teaching language even when it isn’t used by the client to expressively communicate. Rachel also shares the disappointing decision by the school team not to support AAC for this client because the client is “already verbal.”
Key ideas this week:
🔑 All forms of communication should be given equal respect by parents. Parents understand that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work in education and healthcare, but when it comes to communication some only want to pursue verbal speech.
🔑 We don’t have a right to speak for someone just because they use AAC - we need to remember to give AAC users whatever time it takes to speak for themselves.
🔑 Brittany finds using AAC is most useful when she is in an overwhelming situation, like when a doctor is asking her how she feels. Using a device gives her more time to process than she would get using verbal speech alone.
🔑 It’s always important to remember a lack of verbal speech doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t understand - people who use AAC are often intelligent and aware of their surroundings.