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This week's #TotalTalkTuesdayTip is from Dr. Caroline Musslewhite.
Dr. Caroline Musslewhite is an assistive technology specialist with more than 40 years of experience working in the areas of AAC and literacy. She has written many textbooks and “how-to” books and has authored a number of software programs. She has presented thousands of workshops, locally, nationally and internationally. She is a founding member and Fellow of ISAAC.
HERE’S HOW YOU CAN A.C.T. TO CREATE A GREAT STORYTELLER.
Stories (also called social scripts) are about sharing life stories and general conversations. They help persons using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) move beyond wants and needs and find faster ways of using efficient communication for conversational purposes’ (See more at Musselwhite & Burkhart, 2001, Can We Chat? Co-Planned Sequenced Social Scripts, p. 4).
ACT for Better Stories!!
When you remember to A.C.T., everyone - parents, teachers, therapists, and siblings - can support the development of better stories!
A for Ask the Student! Choose topics for stories that the student cares about and then involve them in
co-creating stories! For example: Jenna just got
back from the movie Jungle Book and she LOVED it!
Ask her if she wants to make a story about it, and ask
for ideas. For example, ‘What did you think about the movie?’
Then let her answer. Maybe two words…. EPIC and SCARY.
Now the story can include: ‘It was epic!’ ‘But it was scary too!’
C for Conversational! One of the goals of creating stories is to help students learn to get attention, set a topic, keep it going, and end the conversation. We can support this by helping communicaators remember to include that type of language.
Continuing with the Jungle Book example:
I have something fun to tell you.
I went to a movie!
Can you guess what it was?
T for Turntaking! Another goal of using stories is to actively include the partner, so students can practice turntaking. For the Jungle Book script, we might include questions such as:
Have you seen it?
Who’s your favorite character?
But most of all, stories are about engaging people – both the story teller and the listener. So make sure they’re fun and interactive. Enjoy!
TOTAL TALK MAKES IT EASY!!
Total Talk was built to make it easy to build your own social scripts, find them, and use them.
Our Storymaking Wizard let’s you BUILD stories in an amazingly efficient manner. Just type in the story, part
by part, and it will appear in sequential buttons. We’ve even got a story that…. tells you how to make stories!
Find it on the first button of the Stories Page.
It’s also super easy to FIND your social scripts. Just hit
the Total Talk button to see all the great additional communication modes on Total Talk. Then select Stories.
If you look above you'll see I’ve added a picture to
each story image, so students can find their new
Finally, Total Talk has added a special feature to let
you better DELIVER your story. Stories buttons appear
with numbers (or with whatever words you wish.)
A person can press the buttons one by one
However, a person can also just keep hitting the
‘next’ button. That’s not just an efficient
idea. It also means you can focus on interaction
(eye gaze, smiling, nodding, etc) more than access.
Now that’s what we call a story with a happy ending.
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