Developing AAC skills with Daisy
Daisy is an Assistive Technology Specialist for Smartbox covering London and the surrounding areas. She is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist and previously worked for Guys and St Thomas’s and Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trusts.
Before studying MSc Speech and Language Sciences at University College London, she was an AAC ICT Support Officer. She worked with the Specialist Teacher Advisory team in Hampshire, supporting children in nurseries and schools that use AAC and alternative computer access.
Daisy brings over a decade of experience in AAC to our team at Smartbox and will be sharing some of what she has learned in her blog.
Welcome to Daisy’s First Blog Post
Welcome to my first blog post! Here I am going to be writing about a range of topics, with a focus on ideas and strategies for supporting AAC users to develop their communication and language skills.
I’ll be sharing activities and strategies I use whilst working with clients, as well as sharing lots of brilliant things I see other people doing.
As a Speech and Language Therapist, I will also be looking at how different therapy approaches and techniques can be applied to introducing and implementing AAC.
Before I get started though, I wanted to write a quick introduction to say a bit more about myself.
Discovering Smartbox and AAC
I joined Smartbox in January 2016, but my love of AAC started over a decade ago. During my undergraduate degree I did a placement that involved working at a special school for children with physical disabilities, many of whom also had difficulties communicating.
At the school I was supporting one little girl using a high tech communication aid and the staff working with her. Before I knew it I was supporting children across Hampshire, and I became involved in assessing for and introducing high tech aids (which is when I first came across Smartbox!).
It was in this job that I learned about the role of Speech and Language Therapists, and realised that was what I wanted to do too! So I trained as an SLT and worked in services across London, in homes and clinics, nurseries and schools.
I gained experience in speech, language and communication difficulties and conditions – from speech disorders to autism, Down Syndrome to cerebral palsy, and much more.
Despite this, I always found myself being pulled back towards AAC! This explains why my therapy sessions have nearly always been full of symbols, pictures, and photos – and I have made more communication boards and books than I could count. So, naturally, when an opportunity arose to work for my favourite AAC company, in a position based in London – a place where I lived, studied and worked as an SLT – I leapt at it!
Working as an SLT
Since working as an SLT I have often found success with the same activities, games, and strategies.
Some of what I will be writing about I learned during my SLT training or on courses, some I learned through practical experience delivering therapy, but so much of what I have learned is from working with other AAC professionals, school and nursery staff, and families.
So this blog is my opportunity to share with you, the highlights from what I have found works well, and I hope it will be helpful!
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