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Tip of the Month – December 2016 – Christmas

Tips for talking about Christmas by Fern Jones (SLT)

It is that time of year where conversations turn to all things Christmassey! Here are some ways you can join in with all the Christmas festivities with your communication systems. Happy holidays!

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  1. Help me write my Christmas list or a letter to Santa
    Even if writing is difficult we can use alternative pencils and cut outs from magazines or flyers that come through the door to make up our Christmas list. Use the communication system to describe items that are included on the Christmas list e.g. “I like funny books” or “I want big car”. What a motivating activity and a great opportunity to practice writing.

 

  1. Join in with Christmas songs
    Songs can be a fantastic opportunity to practice anticipation and an opportunity for joining in with peers. Record a repetitive line on a mid or high tech communication system or cut out low-tech visuals that match the song. Our favourite is the 12 Kiwi Days of Christmas – lots of lovely visuals and a great chance to practice timing! Alternatively could choose a song from a choice board.

 

  1. Help decorate the tree and wrap presents

        Everyone loves to be bossy! Give instructions out when decorating the tree – say you want ‘more’ tinsel,  ‘big’                 stars and ‘put on’ your favourite items. Describe your Christmas tree too “pretty” “awesome” and “big”

 

  1. Festive greetings
    Use your communication device or a mid-tech sequenced messenger like a step-by-step to try out lots of different festive greetings! You could practice these around your school or day centre with different communication partners.

 

  1. Share photos or videos of holiday adventures
    Take photos or videos and share them around using describing words such as “awesome present”, “wow” and “great!” It is also a great opportunity to talk about what activities you have taken part in or who you have seen. You could even write a story using the photos or videos of your holiday adventures to help you.

 

  1. Catch up with family or friends you have not seen for a while
    Spend time deciding what cool things you’d like to share with family or friends you have not seen for a while. You could do this low-tech by using a home-school news sheet (there’s a holiday version on the TalkLink website) or you could record a message on your mid-tech device or put together a message with pictures on your high-tech device using visual scenes.

 

  1. Say thank you for presents and yummy food
    Say thank you in your own way and describe what you liked about your presents. You might want to say thanks in a different way depending on who you are talking to. To grandma you might want to say “thank you it was lovely” but to your younger brother or sister you might say “chur it’s awesome!” You can do this low-tech by having a selection of different ‘”thank yous” and different describing words. Use a step-by-step or your high-tech device

 

  1. Play Christmas games like “elf on the shelf”
    Can you find Santa’s helper? You can use position words like “in” “on” “up” or “under” or you might want to use action words like “look” “help” or “take” and describing words like “funny” “awesome” “winner” “loser” “sad”. These words are core words so you can use them for any Christmas games you might play in your family!

 

  1. Turn the Christmas lights on or off
    Do you have a Powerlink? What an awesome opportunity to turn Christmas lights on/off. You might have other Christmas toys that you could use with your switch – maybe you’ve got a singing Santa that would be cool to turn on-off.

 

  1. Tell a joke from the cracker

        Who doesn’t love a good joke on Christmas day? Use your step-by-step or high-tech device to share jokes during         the festive season. If someone you know loves telling jokes, use your describing words to tell them what you                   think!christmas-2016-2christmas-2016-1

For a PDF version of this Tip of the Month, download it here 201612-totm-christmas-docx

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Paula Shennan

Paula Shennan

Speech Language Therapist at The Talklink Trust
I am a Speech and Language Therapist who joined the Talklink Auckland team in November 2011. I have an interest in the area of Assistive Technology and enabling and empowering individuals to communicate using various means.
Paula Shennan

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