Friday, November 30, 2018

Yuk! A Fun Way to Use AAC to Learn about Really Gross Things about Your Body

purple book cover with boy passing gas and floating fart clouds that say, "Really gross things about your body."
Grossology and You by Sylvia Branzei
My kids have found a new favorite book series--Grossology.  Can you guess what it's about?  Yuck!  It's about sticky, gooey, slimy, stinky, smelly, bumpy, itchy, and down right nasty body parts, bodily fluids, and bodily functions.  Nice.  And with it, I made a very powerful connection with some of my students who are using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). 

Let me start off by saying that poop and fart jokes never get old no matter what age you are. My 3 year old students and my 26 year old students find bodily functions equally amusing (and me too). Reading and talking about these bodily functions is very engaging. When you add in realistic sound effects, you really see who has a scents of humor. Make sure you use a one-button switch so that someone can make the appropriate bodily function sounds. 

Okay, so here's what we practice:

Letting others know when something is wrong. We use Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) books along with low tech and high tech communication systems to practice saying, "Something's wrong. I feel sick. It's my stomach." We take turns pushing the button (farting/puking/grumbling stomach) and then saying the words that correspond. 

Using manners. This one is pretty self explanatory. Oops! Excuse me. Uh oh. Sorry about that. 

Commenting, Describing, and Using Interjections. This one can be fun for students to explore social comments and adjectives. Wow! Good one! That's disgusting! OMG! That's stinky. Yuk! Gross! Dude! Come on! Go away! Get out of here!

Identifying body parts. What stinks? My butt. Where does puke come from? My stomach. My mouth. What is sweaty? My armpits. What body part should we talk about next? 

This activity has been memorable for several of my students. One of my older students often navigates to gross when I walk in the room. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I know he gets it. By the way, there are plenty of moments to generalize these skills in all environments. I'm sure you can imagine.