We love to hear stories of Avaz users generalizing AAC beyond the classroom, and that’s why we found the story of Gopinath in the library so much fun.
Gopinath is 11 years old, with CP, and he’d been using Avaz for a few months when his therapist decided to take him (and Avaz) out of the classroom and into the big world outside. There’s a large public library only a few blocks from his school, and Gopinath was only too glad for the opportunity to skip out and go there.
It was a lot of fun for Gopinath and his therapist to pick a book to read in the Children’s section. The shelves in the Children’s section are low and really well-designed, and Gopinath, on his wheelchair, could browse all of the books without too much assistance. He ended up choosing a colourfully illustrated book about a tiger cub and a little boy, and used Avaz to request his therapist to take out the book for them to read together.
The therapist took a couple of minutes to read the book and feed in the new words into Avaz. The two of them had a lovely time reading the book! It turned out to be a very good opportunity to model a completely different set of sentences. Gopinath’s excitement to move to the next page served as wonderful reinforcement to stimulate AAC use. His therapist worked hard to make sure Gopinath could ‘tell him the story’ using his Avaz, and they had a whale of a time reading through the book.
Later that day, Gopinath used his new vocabulary on Avaz to tell everyone he met about the tiger and the little boy! He told his teachers, he told his parents, and he kept talking about it for the next several days.
Good books do that to all of us. But even better than reading a good book is the experience of being able to participate in it, and share it with your friends. How lovely that Avaz could help with creating a magic moment for Gopinath at the Library!