Monday, April 6, 2015

Rules- Meeting #13

Our seventh meeting of the 2014-15 school year was on Rules by Cynthia Lord.  This book is one of my all time favorites as a speech pathologist.  The main character is a 12 year old girl who has a brother with autism (who needs "rules" explicitly explained regarding social skills).  One day she befriends a teenage boy at the speech clinic who is non-verbal and communicates using picture symbols.  The book is simply fantastic and explores what it must be like to have someone else choose what words you can say, how your words are on display for others to see, etc.

The host girls with opinions made a cute sign for the RULES of book club tonight.

The host mama served the girls chicken nuggets, fries, and fruit while we discussed the book.  We used our general discussion questions to help guide the discussion. They gave it all thumbs up, with one to the side.

All thumbs up except for one to the side.  For us- success!

Lots of things to share

The girls were mainly not happy with the bully in the book who is mean to David.  They liked that Catherine did the right thing in the end.  They were also curious to learn more about autism and communication disorders.

All the girls were asked ahead of time to send a list of their 20 most important words for a communication board prior to the meeting.  I used my Boardmaker software to create the boards for them.  Their boards were so cute.  It was interesting to see what words they chose.  The words were color coded by type (adjectives, nouns, etc).  Some chose mostly nouns, others adjectives, etc.  Their boards are pictured below.

NOTE:  For those of y'all wanting to do this activity who do not have BOARDMAKER, this could be accomplished using clip art and Google image search.  Also, there is a website with may premade boards that could be explored to learn more about augmentative communication.  They are all free to download as both a Boardmaker file and a PDF.  A great resource: PictureSet

For our activity, the girls tried to communicate only using their communication boards for 3 minutes.

At the end of the activity, I gave the girls a sample of a "core vocabulary" communication board that I actually use with some of my students.  They could see how these vocabulary words might be more useful across contexts.  However, I think they did a great job choosing their words!

We all had a great time!  Next month, we are reading Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff.

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