Social Communication: Adolescents & Adults Developing/Expanding Communication Skills
Part 2: Storytelling
by Deanna K. Wagner, MS/CCC-SLP
for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation Biennial Conference, July 2017
Learning to tell a story, even if it is someone else’s story, helps build discourse skills. Using personal photos as the context, we can encourage/shape communicative functions of commenting, describing, and labeling in addition to information transfer. Use fun apps to add pictures, videos and/or sounds. Include videos in “About Me” books, including idiosyncratic communication. This session will include demonstrations and discussion of features of fun apps for telling stories.
1. Participants will define basic elements of story-telling for emerging communicators
2. Participants will describe how idiosyncratic and non-symbolic behaviors can be used when co-constructing a personal story/narrative
3. Participants will describe at least 3 reasons for sharing personal stories.
Storytelling can be used as a means of information transfer while developing social closeness and beginning discourse skills. This session will provide ideas/strategies to expand on narrative and storytelling skills that help the emerging communicator establish and/or maintain relationships. Using personal photos as the context, we can encourage/shape communicative functions of commenting, describing, and labeling in addition to information transfer.
Good “About Me” books contrast what is special about the individual while encouraging comparisons with others. “I have blue eyes” can draw others into conversation about who else has blue eyes, or “What color eyes does mommy have?” Use stories to teach others how to interact with the individual, identifying and describing how this person uses body language or idiosyncratic forms of communication to indicate agreement/enjoyment vs. rejection/negation. Consider co-construction of an “I say ‘yes’ like this” book. Make recordings and videos to share with others how and why we use the word “yes.”
Narratives describe events across time (Soto, 2006). The ability to participate in sharing a full narrative develops over time out of experiences with basic discourse experiences (conversations, play, shared readings). “My Day” narratives can be used to share information about events across the school day. With scaffolds in place such as visual schedules, students can be involved in co-constructing narratives that can give interpretive meaning (e.g., art = good, fun). These can be quickly recorded into a communicative system with a page for “my news” (Zangari, 2013).
Finally, learning to tell a story, even if it is someone else’s story, helps build discourse skills. Learn how to pause and then move to the next line in the story. Use fun apps to add pictures, videos and/or sounds (Musselwhite et al., 2012). This session will include demonstrations and discussion of features of some fun apps for telling stories. Check out this section on our SPEDAPPS2 WIKI for some inspiring ways to publish writing.
During this session I will spend time demonstrating/exploring/discussing how to make stories, starting with the basics of using www.tarheelreader.org and Pictello, and moving on to ways to incorporate videos from Explain Everything into GoTalk NOW books. Readers may be interested in the #4 Tip of the Month 2016 on Caroline Musselwhite’s website, aacintervention.com, for using GoTalk NOW to launch books in TarheelReader.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Using the iPad Camera Roll for Quick on the Fly Books
* Take pictures using the iPad OR screenshots
* Select photos in your camera roll and use the sharing icon (arrow jumping out of a box)
* Make a new photo album and put pictures in it
* Turn Switch Control ON, launch “Turn Pages” recipe to look through photos and decide if some need to be edited / cropped.
Read a book on the Tarheel Reader website (on the iPad) with “Turn Pages” recipe (speech option can be turned on at the first page)
* Download your Tarheel Reader book as an ePub book from the Tarheel Reader website on the iPad and it opens in the iBook app.
* iBook app also works with “Turn Pages” recipe, or swipe on the screen
* Add a Shortcut to the Home Screen, they think they are launching an app
Create a Tarheel Reader Account if you want to upload your own stories
* Upload Photos, or search for images
* Enter one short sentence for each page
* Check back to see how others have rated your story
What words should we use? Text Matters…
* Emergent Readers -- use more words to provide enriched vocabulary
* About me, My day, Kid in Story
* Transitional texts often use repeated lines, consider using core words
* Early Conventional texts – less words while readers are learning
* Controlled vocabulary - Noun, verb, or adjective book
* Beware of focusing too much on fringe vocab
Check out the Angelman Syndrome Foundation Communication Training Series Webinars
* #14. Reading as Communication: Selecting Books with Caroline Musselwhite and Erin Sheldon
* #27. Independent Reading: Text Types, Paper Books, and Digital with Caroline Musselwhite
About Me Books
* Contrast what is special about the individual while encouraging comparisons with others.
* “I have blue eyes” can draw others into conversation about who else has blue eyes, or “What color eyes does mommy have?”
* Use stories to teach others how to interact with the individual
* Describe how this person uses body language or idiosyncratic forms of communication to indicate agreement/enjoyment vs. rejection/negation.
* Consider co-construction of an “I say ‘yes’ like this” book.
* Make recordings and videos to share with others how and why we use the word “yes.”
* Here is a fun “Hello” example by Jane Farrell.
About My Day
* Narratives describe events across time (Soto, 2006).
* The ability to participate in sharing a full narrative develops over time out of experiences with basic discourse experiences (conversations, play, shared readings).
* “My Day” narratives can be used to share information about events across the school day.
* With scaffolds in place such as visual schedules, students can be involved in co-constructing narratives that can give interpretive meaning (e.g., art = good, fun). These can be quickly recorded into a communicative system with a page for “my news” (Zangari, 2013).
Pictello works much like TarheelReader, only you can create stories without the need for an internet connection. And you don’t need to worry about sharing personal photos with the whole world. To create a story, just add a photo and 1 or 2 lines of text. You also have the option to add a recording instead of text to speech. Share your stories. Here are some great examples we used at Angelman Camp last year that started out on Tarheel Reader and were converted:
– Noses 6439-4987
– Extreme ironing 5955-8938
– Blizzard 2239-9179
– Wheeling 4861-7652
– Who Did It 8185-9177
– Get Set For a Pet 5226-8770
– Lost Dog 2016-2049
Have some more fun saying “hi” with GoTalk NOW
* Random greetings (use symbol that looks like a pole between messages)
* Action = Jump to Page (e.g., jump to People)
* Action = Play a Video
Why use Explain Everything?
* Use screencasting to add recordings, multiple images, highlight details
* Save the video to your camera roll; add button action (multimedia) to play the video in GoTalkNOW
* Save the video to YouTube; share link or add the shortcut to the iPad desktop
* Upload an entire PPT and then mark up the images and/or add recordings
Start off easy, think about using predictable texts (repeated lines). Here is a link from Dr. Gretchen Hanser for Predictable Chart Writing to get you started.
You can also find many different stories on www.tarheelreader.org with repeated lines. If you search for “I like” books, you can find a great mix of personal stories and some funny rhyming ones like this one from Jane Farrel.
What do you like?
Musselwhite, Wagner, Buell, & Wilcoxon, 2012. Cool Tricks with New Apps - AAC Intervention.com http://spedapps2.wikispaces.com/
Soto, G. (2006). Narratives of Children who Need AAC: Assessment and Intervention Considerations. ASHA Convention. Miami.
Zangari (2013). Narrative Skills for People with AAC Needs. http://praacticalaac.org/strategy/narrative-skills-for-people-with-aac-needs/
Beukelman, D. with Fager, S. and Ball, L. (2006). Use of AAC to enhance social participation of adults with neurological conditions. AAC-RERC State of Science Conference. www.aac~rerc.com.
Beukelman, D. and Mirenda, P. (2005). Message management: Vocabulary, small talk, and storytelling. In D. Beukelman & P. Mirenda. Augmentative & Alternative Communication: Supporting Children & Adults with Complex Communication Needs. Third Edition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 15 – 34.
DeCoste, D. (1997). The role of literacy in augmentative and alternative communication. In S. Glennen and D. DeCoste, Handbook of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc., 283-333.
Dietz, A., McKelvey, M. and Beukelman, D. (2006). Visual scene displays (VSD): New AAC interfaces for persons with aphasia. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15 (1), 13 – 17.
Garrett, K. and Lasker, J. (2005). Adults with severe aphasia. In D. Beukelman & P. Mirenda, Augmentative & Alternative Communication: Supporting Children & Adults with Complex Communication Needs. Third Edition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing, 467 – 504.
Lasker, J. and Beukelman, D. (1999). Peers’ perceptions of storytelling by an adult with aphasia. Aphasiology, 13 (9-11), 857 – 869.
Light, J. and Binger, C. (1998). Building Communicative Competence with Individuals Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
Musselwhite, C. and Hanser, G. (2003). Write to Talk-Talk to Write! Second Edition. Litchfield Park, AZ: Special Communications/Life Skills & Technology for Independence.
Musselwhite, C. and Wagner, D. (2006). Poetry Power! Jump-Starting Language, Literacy, & Life. Litchfield Park, AZ: Special Communications/Life Skills & Technology for Independence.
O’Mara, D. & Waller, A. (2001). Joke telling as an introduction and a motivator to a narrative-based communication system for people with severe communication disorders. Computers and Fun-The 2nd British HCI Group One Day Meeting. http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/projects/writetalk/yorkfinalversion.asp.
O’Mara, D., Waller, A., Tait, L., Hood, H., Booth, L. and Brophy-Arnott, B. (2000). Developing personal identity through story telling. Write:Talk web site. http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/projects/writetalk/finalieepaper.asp
Rush, E. (2005). Supporting communication through shared reading. Part 2. Enabling Devices Newsletter #7 (Sept. 2005). http://enablingdevices.com/newsletter_7.aspx.
Schlosser, R. and Lloyd, L. (1993). Effects of initial element teaching in a story-telling context on Blissymbol acquisition and generalization. Jnl. of Speech and Hearing Research, 36, 979-995.
Senner, J. E. (June/July 2001). Emergent writing activities for dynamic display AAC systems. Closing the Gap, 20(2), 6-7.
Shane, H. (2006). Using visual scene displays to improve communication and communication instruction in persons with autism spectrum disorders. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15 (1), 8 – 13.
Shank, R. (1990). Tell Me a Story: A New Look at Real and Artificial Memory. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Stuart, S. (2000). Understanding the storytelling of older adults for AAC system design. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 16 (1). 1 – 12.
Soto, G. (2005). Narrative skills of children who use AAC: Assessment and intervention considerations. AAC by the Bay. San Francisco, CA.
Stuart, S., Vanderhoof, D., and Beukelman, D. (1993). Topic and vocabulary use patterns of elderly women. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 9 (2), 95-110.
Waller, A., O’Mara, D., Tait, L., Booth, L., Brophy-Arnott, B. and Hood, H. (2001). Using written stories to support the use of narrative in conversational interactions: Case study. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 17 (4), 221-232.
L. Meyer, Approaching Communicative Competence Through Storytelling T/TAC Conference June 2006
Books by AAC Users:
Bauby, J-D. (1997). The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death. New York: Vintage Books.
Jean-Dominique Bauby tells his own story (written by using an alphabet board and eye blinks) of having locked-in syndrome after suffering a massive stroke at age 43.
Brown, Christy. (1982). My Left Foot. Cambridge, MA: Applewood. Brown eloquently describes his difficult birth, the hopelessness of his doctors, and the persistent love of his family, especially of his mother. He relates in detail that profound moment when, at age five, he inexplicably grabbed a piece of chalk from his sister's hand with his left foot and, with great difficulty and incredulity, traced the letter A on a piece of slate. For the first time, his family knew for sure that his intellect was intact. And for the first time, he could start to communicate with them.
Fried-Oken, M. & Bersani, H. (2000). Speaking Up and Spelling It Out: Personal Essays on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
A collection of first-person accounts of how living with AAC has affected the lives of people with disabilities – includes essays, poems, and interviews.
Koppenhaver, D., Erickson, K. and Yoder, D. (Eds.). (2005) Waves of Words: Augmented Communicators Read and Write. Toronto: ISAAC Press.
An international collection of stories of people achieving literacy despite the challenges of their complex communication needs.
Sienkiewicz-Mercer, R. & Kaplan, S. (1989). I Raise My Eyes to Say Yes. Houghton Mifflin. Ruth Sienkiewicz-Mercer was born in 1950. She has never spoken a word; never walked, never fed herself, never combed her own hair. Trapped in a body that is functionally useless, her mind works perfectly. This is her story.
Tavalaro, J. & Tayson, R. (1997). Look Up for Yes. Kodansha America. A memoir of Julia Tavalaro who opened her eyes after spending seven months in a coma. Nobody in the hospital ward to which she had been consigned even noticed that she was alert. Paralyzed and unable to speak, Tavalaro had no way of making them take notice. She spent the next six years languishing in her bed, and although able to hear everything around her, she was unable to communicate. Tavalaro is able to recall her past in minute detail and weaves her memoir from threads of the past, her present, and her poems that transcend the two. Look Up for Yes is the courageous story of a woman struggling to find her voice and make it heard.