Thursday, July 21, 2011


A thought as I go to bed...

If you could prepare 4 words/phrases for your kindergartener/school age child to have by their side during their first few days of school when they may be too shy to talk to their teachers/peers, what would they be?

I'm considering sending Brianna with our 4 go-talk One Talk boxes (small one button devices with a picture and a speaker that are self-recording).  I'm trying to decide what phrases would be most helpful for her to have along with her.

"I need to use the restroom please," was the first I thought of, and really what got my mind going.  I'm sure there are others... maybe "someone is bothering me" (tho I'm not sure she'd ever use it... just so she COULD if she needed to...?) and the other I thought of was "I need help please."  She can say that she needs to go to the bathroom and that she needs help, but... if she IS overwhelmed, then the voice buttons may prove to be a way to get through her first days.  Of course I'll talk to her teacher, whenever we find out who the teacher is... and make sure that 1- the voice triggers are ok and 2- ask her for suggestions.

But thought I'd start here.  Thoughts on what you'd want your child to be able to "say" without having to TALK on the first week of Kindergarten?

(For those just tuning in, Brianna will be in a typical kindergarten class for most of her day with pull out for math and reading.  She's very verbal and expresses her needs easily at home, but she's VERY shy and doesn't talk much at school!)


  1. My name is

    I want to play


    i know that

  2. I'm not you, my kid is not your kid, but one of them, though very verbal, is extremely shy in new surroundings. He didn't talk the first few days at school. He would also be the one to keep using any device to avoid talking to people way longer than I'd feel comfortable with.

    The bathroom line is the only one that's really necessary. Maybe something about herself?

  3. Since the Go-Talk can be quickly re-programmed, I would start out with "Hi, my name is Brianna," "I need to use the restroom," "Yes" and "No." If she's typically verbal, I probably wouldn't rely on the Go-Talk much beyond the first week. If she's that shy, she will probably notice the other kids in the class aren't using devices and won't initiate anyways. (SLP preschoolers who use devices full time do great, but the ones who ARE verbal but use AAC devices to supplement almost always need cued to use them...they will respond but not initiate.)

  4. It would be really nice if the teacher found a buddy for her during the first few weeks. It may be easier for Brianna to interact with one child who is willing and outgoing who could help her voice her needs.

  5. I would definitely say "Can you help me please" - that one would cover a lot of situations that you might not think of (can't reach something, someone has taken something of hers etc).

    Bathroom for sure.

    "I can do it" ? Maybe if she is super shy and isn't talking then people might assume she needs more help than she does! This would empower her to let them know that she can handle stuff! I can imagine it must be frustrating to have people putting your coat on or something just because you can't tell them that you are perfectly capable of doing it, lol!

  6. My son is autistic and starting pre-k in the fall. He is fairly verbal as well and at home most days he can let us know what he needs/wants. But in new places and when overwhelmed he isnt able to communicate so well. We are making a laminated book with pictures for him to take to school. We are still working on what to put in the book, but it will be open to more than 4 options and can always be close to him. Would that be an option for Briana? I mean if you wanted more than 4 options so you can rest at ease knowing she is covered if she's overwhelmed.