Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) — Day 16 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Still having difficulty finding pictures for several of our topics

For “yesterday’s post” (which is showing up the same day as this one because I’m still behind, and still working on getting back on track, so no need to schedule) I wrote a bit about language (I think I need to revisit it) but related to that is AAC or Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

For me, there are a number of times when communication becomes really difficult.  In fact, I believe that this happens probably at least once a day.  My main way of handling that on a daily basis, is to use forms of communication which are less difficult for me.

Which means, that a lot of my communication ends up in a typed form, because that’s just the easiest way for me.  In fact, the first two meetings I have attended for the “most local” autism group I belong to (one ending up being very brief) I mostly communicated by typing.

Part of that was that I really wasn’t even physically present, but “coming in” from a distance of somewhere around 600-800 km (I think it’s closer to 600, but I always think of it as 800 km) drive away.

So, there is a problem that happens with that, being that in person, typing to people just doesn’t work, and in fact I end up having to talk on the phone from time to time (ick, the infernal device).  So, especially with in person communication, especially with people who know me well enough, I have been looking for an alternative to trying to use spoken words when those just are not going to work for me.

I want to have a business card type thing I have multiple copies of that I can hand to people which says:

“Please don’t ask me how I am feeling, unless you actually care.”

which has an explanation of why I really find that to be a significant issue for me.  Something along the lines of:

“When you ask me a question, I try to answer what you ask.  If you ask a question which is a ‘social nicety’ I have trouble just going through the script that is considered to be ‘socially acceptable.'”

In fact maybe we will create those as either “credit card” (European business cards) or “business card” sized (North American business cards).  The advantage of the smaller “North American” size, is that one, it’s smaller, and 2 because I am in North America, things like business card holders come in that size (though you can get credit card holders as well).

So, I am thinking that maybe going for that would be a good way to handle this, and maybe printing a “box” of them.

Also, I have been thinking of some kind of sign language, or something like a “word board” or a “letter board” or something like that to be able to say “too loud. can we leave?” type things.  I am looking at some options regarding that, and I’m thinking probably designing things which would work like that.

I’m not sure where I will end up going with that.  Though I have to think more about it.

I have to say that one of the “Chewigem” chews that I grabbed was specifically because it is intended to be at least somewhat a form of AAC.  It is a “red and green bangle” which on the red side it says “Leave me be” and on the green side says “Talk to me”.  I don’t really believe that it is that likely to be “actually effective” except for situations where people actually know about things like that (which would be probably spaces where people get social overload or similar to enough extent to actually understand, and even if people don’t notice, it would “feel safe” to say, “I don’t want to talk, and use this to indicate that”.)

Speaking of that…  I am considering trying to figure out what I’ll order from them next time.  I haven’t “created a list” myself at this point, but I did create a form yesterday (I think) to get input from people about that.  Or more generally…  “Product Review Form

So, well, um, ah, I think I’m going to leave things at this for now…


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