Recently, my husband and I have had some big changes to our family. We traded in our snow boots for flip flops and moved from snowy Boston to sunny Florida!
Change is hard, even if we’re excited for the change.
Matt and I were so excited for this new adventure in our lives! We felt like this was exactly what we needed at this point in our lives. Even still, packing up all of your belongings on your own in challenging. It’s difficult to prepare the possibility of some of your most fragile things not making it across the country in one piece. It’s incredibly stressful to plan for getting a gigantic Uhaul and two cars from MA to FL with only two drivers.
Don’t get me wrong - we were very excited for this change! But change is hard. We had to do a lot of planning. We had to get some helpers to pack the truck. We had to get one of our wonderful friends to drive down with us.
So, Amanda, what does this have to do with AAC/AT/EF??
In my opinion, the hardest part of our field is change. As an SLP, I’m constantly suggesting changes in people’s routines - artic drills, organization techniques, use of communication devices, parent and family responses to children with communication difficulties, and so much more.
Sometimes, I walk into a meeting with family members and suggest 1204839 changes and wonder why the parents look at me like I’m certifiably crazy! I need to stop thinking about what I'd like to change. Rather, I need to think about it from the family’s point of view. What is feasible? What will work for this family? What is going to be too much?
Be mindful of your recommendations.
In my experience, if you suggest changing things too much and too fast, you will see abandonment of whatever system you’re suggesting. If you’d like the parents to model language on an child’s AAC system, please don’t start by asking the parents to model every word that they say! Maybe pick certain family activities to focus more on modeling, like during dinner time or at his sibling’s soccer game. Make it manageable.
Amanda ML Samperi
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