Download this resource as a PDF here: Family Anecdotes and AAC
Every family has its share of stories – silly stories of mom and her cousins playing together as children, or sentimental stories of grandma making pancakes for dad and his siblings. Some of the most delicious recipes, family traditions, and impressive skills get passed on to future generations through these stories. With school closures and lockdowns, let’s use this opportunity to share these anecdotes with children. And to support our AAC user’s learning, let’s model away as we tell them these exciting anecdotes.
- Take your family album out to make the storytelling more visual.
- Play a game encouraging your child to identify family members in the photos. This can be a fun game to play with siblings where you can keep score of who can identify more people.
- Connect the anecdote back to your child’s life. Ask questions about what they would have done or how they would have felt if in a similar situation.
- Since family stories are replete with myriad emotions and sentiments, this can be a wonderful opportunity to discuss feelings. You can also discuss human relationships, the social bonds we form, and how they are important to lead a fulfilling life.
- Video call a family member or a friend who’s part of the anecdote and show them how heartwarming and emotionally uplifting social interactions can be
- I loved flying kites with my friends.
- I used to be excited about breakfast at Grandma’s place.
- Grandma’s chocolate chip pancakes were the best.
- Let’s make pancakes tomorrow.
- This pink dress was my favourite.
- What’s your favourite outfit?
- Don’t I look just like you in this photo?
- This was the friend who sat next to me in middle school.
- Is your friend nice to you?
- This is my brother’s friend.
- He works as a nurse now.
- He helps sick people get well.
- No. That’s not me
- Look at Grandpa with his dog.
- That’s my mom’s painting on the wall
- I stopped watching scary movies after that.
- I kept my marbles under my bed.
- She had the same rag doll
- I had an amazing time at the barn.
For emergent communicators, AAC is often used only for questions or requesting. Here’s a range of communicative functions you can use AAC for while cooking together:
- Comment: The prank was fun!
- Describe: I had a big red toy car
- Instruct: Be gentle while turning the pages of the album
- Request information: What colour is your toy car?
- Express feelings: I was sad when we moved out of that house.
- Joke: I asked my dad if he knew what a solar eclipse was. He said, “No sun” 🤣 🤣
Family anecdotes help children get a sense of your family history, culture, and customs. This can also be an opportunity to discuss your child’s equation with their siblings, cousins, and friends. Use descriptive language while narrating your stories and model corresponding words on the child’s AAC system. As your child eagerly watches you animatedly talk about your childhood memories, they would’ve picked up important language, emotional, and social skills along the way.
You can find more AAC ideas and activities here.