One afternoon, I was due to take a communication session with a student called Millie. The session incorporated some new activities which could either be successful or unsuccessful, but I was optimistic about actually delivering the
Whenever I deliver sessions, I always have the key facilitation skills from the Great Interactions book, in my mind, as I believe they are the key to successful communication and positive interactions.
Millie has a cheeky sense of humour which means we have a common ground to start from! She is often very ‘bubbly’ and loves to make people laugh or share a joke.
This session revolved around using a smart board. The outline of the session was for Millie to use her hand to rub off a coloured pen mark, in order to reveal a picture. Millie would look at the picture and use the corresponding Makaton sign to communicate this to me. I would then sign back and we would move onto the next picture.
Millie has really loved this session and her confidence in signing has increased tenfold since September. Not only this, but it has also helped her to simultaneously develop her vocalisation of words, which is fantastic to hear. By supporting
Millie with these opportunities to practice and develop her skills, Millie is now interacting and initialising conversations with her peers and staff on a regular basis. This is real progress, a huge achievement from when she first attended college, where she appeared timid, shy and unresponsive to many things. Taking time to get to know Millie and making the session interesting for her has really paid off.
I also believe that it is just as important to remember that each person we support is different and unique, as we are as support staff. This means that there are many rules but also many exceptions to each session… what works for one person may not work for another, so of course, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
There are breakthroughs.
There are setbacks.
That’s life, and I love being a part of both because each presents their own rewards and challenges.
Curriculum Co-ordinator, MAP