Happy holidays?? A tale of AAC and Christmas.

We can all be guilty of idealising Christmas. In our heads it is a time of harmony and fun and mutual appreciation. In reality the run-up can often be full of over-excitement, expectations, exhaustion and frayed tempers (for adults and kids alike). It is good to recognise that these two aspects will sit together – this is what I am learning for myself as a parent.

So when the parent of a little boy who I support to use AAC sent me this photo I laughed and empathised with his mum, but also felt bursting with pride that this little boy had a way to communicate his thoughts. This felt like a true reflection of the days before Christmas.

When I talk about AAC systems I talk about robust language systems. By that I mean a Communication system which will enable you to have access to all the words that you might need, and to communicate for all the reasons that human beings communicate. That might, just might, include being told something really cheeky. And at Christmas we need access not only to words that let us say “happy Christmas” and “thank you”, but also to grumble, nag and bicker.

So, have a “happy”, “smelly”, “jolly”, “boring”, “cheeky” but most of all a “communicating” Christmas.


(The child in this piece uses an iPad with Clicker Communicator, and symbol assisted predictive text to communicate.)

Jude is a specialist speech and language therapist who is passionate about unlocking potential, Jude loves supporting families with complex communication needs and has a special interest in #AAC, #Augcom.