This AAC Life: Dad-to-Dad

Quick Overview

This session at the 2016 FAST Educational Summit focused on dads’ involvement in using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) with their children. The panel of dads shared their experiences and tips for getting started with AAC. They emphasized the importance of modeling and normalizing AAC use, and discussed the challenges and rewards of using AAC with their children. They also addressed questions from the audience, including topics such as introducing AAC to siblings and the timeline for children to start using AAC.

Introduction

In this session of the 2016 FAST Educational Summit, the focus turns to dads and their involvement in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). Mary-Louise Bertram introduces three Angelman AAC dads – Jeremy Meissner, Mick Wong, and David Rosenblatt – who will share their experiences and insights on getting dads involved in AAC.

Getting Dads Involved

Mary-Louise starts by addressing the common question asked by mums – how to get dads involved in AAC. She believes that the best way to answer this question is to hear from the dads themselves. She introduces the three dads and mentions that they will be sitting down for this session.

Jeremy Meissner’s Experience

Jeremy Meissner, father to Lily Grace, shares a video of him modeling AAC with his daughter. He talks about the importance of modeling and how it helps both him and his daughter learn and grow. He also mentions the motivation he gets from seeing his daughter understand and respond to what he says.

Mick Wong’s Experience

Mick Wong, father to Kate, talks about his journey with AAC. He shares how he started by attending a pod training and was immediately impressed by the potential of AAC. He emphasizes the importance of setting goals and gradually expanding his own understanding and knowledge of AAC. Mick also mentions the special moments he has had with his daughter, where AAC has made communication possible and meaningful.

David Rosenblatt’s Experience

David Rosenblatt, father to Nico, shares his experience of modeling AAC with his son. He talks about the challenges he faced and how he learned to embrace the process of learning AAC. David emphasizes the importance of making AAC fun and meaningful by incorporating it into everyday activities and using humor.

AAC is for Dads Too

The dads address the misconception that AAC is primarily a “mom thing.” They explain that while it may be natural for parents to divide tasks, AAC should not be limited to one parent. They stress the importance of solidarity and showing children that using AAC is a shared experience. The dads also highlight the need for low expectations and patience in the process of AAC learning.

Tips for Getting Started

The dads share their tips for getting started with AAC. They emphasize the importance of taking it one step at a time and setting achievable goals. They also suggest playing to one’s strengths and finding ways to make AAC fun and meaningful. The dads encourage parents to be patient and not to put too much pressure on themselves or their children.

Q&A Session

The session concludes with a Q&A session, where the dads answer questions from the audience. They address topics such as using multiple devices, introducing AAC to siblings, and dealing with resistance from children.

Conclusion

The session highlights the importance of dads’ involvement in AAC and provides practical tips and insights for getting started. The dads’ experiences serve as a reminder that AAC is a journey that requires patience, flexibility, and a willingness to learn and grow together with their children.

Talk details

  • Title: This AAC Life: Dad-to-Dad
  • Author(s): Mary-Louise Bertram, Jeremy Meissner, Mick Wong, David Rosenblatt
  • Author(s)’ affiliation: None
  • Publication date: 2017-01-04
  • Collection: 2016 FAST Educational Summit