To share with attendees my literacy and language journey, how my dysarthria and hearing impairment and using high tech AAC has impacted on my learning.
A visit in early 2012 to Dundee University Computer Department led me on a journey about the importance of social narratives and our own experiences in making us what we are. Their questions made me start to rethink about my life experiences and have impacted the way I use my communication aid now and how I would like to use it in future. A recent chance meeting with the Teaching Assistant who was my 1-1 through infant school made me think more about things. Unprompted, she shared her experience of working with me, how my reading developed and what the staff in school who had no experience of AAC thought. I have also talked with my 1-1 from junior school.
I have woven together this knowledge with what I already had of my literacy and language development at school and home. I will talk about learning to read and write, learning letter shapes, spelling, the challenges of being unable to sound out, finding my inner voice, thinking in pictures, and more – plus the importance of having people who have high expectations of you.
Developing language and literacy is ongoing for me. Even now, every new word needs to be learned for me to use it again in written or verbal ways. I have had considerable support, although along the way things have sometimes come to a halt before another thing makes my learning jump forward again.
These are my personal experiences and everyone is different. The way I have learned may not be right for others. I do have age appropriate literacy and have taken GCSEs in English language and literature.