Learning to read with Widgit stories
Just a little over a year ago, for the first time, Savannah showed interest in literacy. I wrote about that in some detail here.
For the last year, Savannah mainly preferred being read too, but more and more often she showed that she identified words. When Savannah is typing using her AAC software, she often speaks out the name of the symbol that she is looking for or reads it when she sees it. Mostly she recognises the symbols, but recently, more often she is also recognising words.
It was very exciting for Savannah when I came across stories for teenagers in symbol format.
Reading is a great feat for Savannah and she takes some time to read a ten page symbol story independently. She was excited to read her first story with little help from me,
A few years ago, it seemed unlikely that Savannah would have the ability to read at all. Now with a range of some free and some reasonably priced pre-made stories from Widget, Savannah is enjoying browsing the website and selecting which topic she would like to read.
For Easter, we downloaded a story from religious education topics. She also particularly enjoyed reading about Molly’s first kiss in the story The Disco from the range of teenage/young adult topics.
While some resources require “Communicate: In Print 2” or “SymWriter 2”, there are many pdf versions available for free download. It is very helpful to have a range of pre-made stories available with relevant content. I can make stories for Savannah myself, but often I don’t have the time nor am I likely to write about varied topics such as a girl’s first kiss. Pre-made resources are so helpful in providing varied content for Savannah in a format that aids her language and literacy acquisition.
It is really exciting knowing that with the right supports, multi modal communication and presuming competence, there isn’t a ceiling for what Savannah will be able to do.