Download this resource as a PDF here: Recap Your Day with AAC
We are all still adjusting to the new realities although it’s been a few weeks now since most of us have been staying at home. Discussing the day’s plans with your child at the beginning of the day prepares them for the various activities. But in times like these, our well-crafted plans may go for a toss and that’s okay. Taking some time to discuss how the day went gives a great opportunity to get your child’s inputs on how they’d like to structure their day. Isn’t this a wonderful way to encourage AAC use and choice-making as you get insights on how to plan the next day?
Peaks and Pits of the Day
This ritual highly recommended by experts involves families discussing the highs and lows of each day. This helps in reassessing goals and priorities.
Praise your child for all their completed tasks. This reinforcement motivates them to do better. Talk to them about things they need to work on. Giving specific instructions gives them clarity on what they are expected to do.
List all the things you are grateful for and encourage your child to do so too. Talk a little about things that are going on around the world and how several people are working hard to keep us safe.
Encourage your child to talk about their emotions. A good way to do that is to talk about your own emotions. There are going to be good and bad days. Discuss how we can deal with negative emotions and reassure them that you will support them when they’re having a rough time.
Allow your child to decide how they want to schedule their favourite activities during the day. This gives them a sense of control and power and helps them with decision-making skills. Be ready to be flexible and try to accommodate their requests. You can use the ‘First-Then” method to tell them if they finished a certain activity first, then they can have their way with their favourite activity.
Children may find it difficult to recall how the day went or may struggle to communicate it to you. You can start by talking about the peaks and pits of your day.
I’m going to start with the best part of my day.
I was glad I could complete my project on time.
I was annoyed to see the mess on the table.
Once you’ve discussed your day, you can encourage your child to talk about theirs. Give them prompts if needed and remind them of the activities they did during the day. If you have a planner or a visual schedule that your child follows, seeing it may help children recall what they did during the day.
Do you think today was fun?
What activity did you enjoy the most?
The mermaid book used to be my favourite too.
If your child has not completed an activity, give them a chance to explain why. Hear them out before telling them why you expect them to complete the activity and how you can help them with it.
You did not do exercise today.
Would you like to dance during exercise time?
Here are a few core words you can model during your daily reflections with the family:
- Let’s talk about the best parts of today
- I liked the game we played
- Your brother was upset
- What didn’t you like about the movie?
- You did a great job!
- Thanks for helping me clean
- Would you like more playtime tomorrow?
- You finished all your homework
- Grandma was happy to talk to you
- Let’s play the game again tomorrow
For emergent communicators, AAC is often used only for questions or requesting. Here’s a range of communicative functions you can use AAC for while discussing the good and the not-so-good parts of the day:
- Question: Did you enjoy reading the book about aliens?
- Comment: I love Taco Tuesdays
- Describe: The weather has been lovely today
- Instruct: Let’s talk about the good stuff first
- Request information: What game would you like to play tomorrow?
- Express feelings: I was upset when my computer stopped working
- Joke: Do you know why our dog loved today? Because he thought it was ‘CHEWS’ day 🤣 🤣
The foremost benefit of daily reflections with AAC is that your child develops the habit of expressing their emotions and feelings to you. Since they feel heard, this encourages them to form opinions and identify their likes and dislikes.The prospect of using the AAC system as a tool to dictate their environment also serves as a great motivator in developing their communication skills.
Find more AAC ideas and activities here.