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Team Sophie: Eighteen years and counting!

Session 
2.4b
Personal Experience
  • Nicola Trapnell
  • Sophie McMullen
Summary

We want to share Sophie’s eighteen year AAC journey.

Method/Activities/Techniques

Sophie’s journey started with  photos and symbols and has included the use of several communication aids. Sophie progressed from using switches to operate toys and electrical appliances to using her switch to drive her wheelchair and operate her communication aid, computer and environmental control system. 'Team Sophie' has Sophie at the centre of this journey but also includes her family, personal assistants, speech and language therapy team, teachers, medical physics team, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Results/Findings

In 2001 Sophie won a CM Achievement Award. Sophie has been an AAC ambassador for her school for several years and in this role she has talked to other students, parents and professionals about AAC. Sophie leaves school this summer and is going to college. Sophie has applied to the NHS to be a volunteer with her Speech and Language Therapy Team as she says she "wants to give something back". Sophie is investigating using eye control and so her AAC journey continues.

Conclusions

Sophie has had the support of a multi-disciplinary team who have met regularly and liased formally and informally over many years to respond promptly to both new needs and breakdowns.

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