Our picnic adventure – an AAC tale


I know I’m woefully behind on my AAC posts. I promise I will share our monthly word lists with you as soon as I can…probably while the boys are in camp and I work on putting more vocabulary in Owen’s app. Despite the fact that I’m behind on that too Owen has continued to do well – right now we’re working on a few things. He can say ‘I want to eat’ and ‘I want to drink’ very fluently but I’m helping him use other verbs with ‘I want’, pair ‘I’ with other words (‘I need’, ‘I like’, ‘I am’ for example) and generally use at least two words at all times instead of one – so, ‘read book’ instead of just ‘book’. This weekend we had a few successes that tickled me pink and so I thought I would share.

First, some context. I have BBC iPlayer (Global) on “my” iPad. It’s free to download and try but there’s an in-app purchase for access to all the content. For me it’s worth it as we don’t have a television and it’s quality programming. I say “my” iPad as, with the death of two iDevices in the family Oliver has comandeered my iPad for his own use. As one of the things I do is review apps, this makes getting work done very difficult so I’m investing in two new devices (ouch!) to get us back on an even keel.

Recently Oliver has discovered BBC children’s programming and has been fascinated with the Fimbles and its spin off, The Roly Mo Show. He’s now obsessed with picnics: packing baskets of goodies, putting his toys in vehicles and putting on picnics for them everywhere – so I suggested that we head out for a picnic this weekend. In a parenting fail of gargantuan proportions I told him on Saturday that we would be going on Sunday and so of course he spent the next 24 hours asking if we were going yet…

Luckily, before Oliver exploded from anticipation, we headed out Sunday morning and while we were waiting for the streetcar Owen said, completely unprompted, ‘I want to get streetcar’. I was over the moon so we talked about it and I modelled for him, ‘I want to get on streetcar’ – which he then repeated without any assistance whatsoever. High fives, cuddles and kisses all round.

After a short streetcar ride we got off at Colborne Lodge Drive and quickly found our picnic spot, just outside the Lodge itself. I asked Oliver to say ‘cheese’ for a picture and as you can see, he was a complete ham:

Picnic at Colbourne Lodge, High Park

Here’s Owen eating one of his favourite foods, a rice cake. (Blech!)

AAC and books

As you can also see, we had books with us. No surprise there as Owen is a huge fan (you can read more about that in Things My Autistic Kids Love: Books). I encourage Owen to use his AAC when we’re reading books so he can read along (you can see a short movie of him doing that here). Yesterday we had with us, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Green Eggs and Ham and Bear’s New Friend.

After the picnic we all took a stroll through High Park Zoo which was the primary reason for us going to that park for a picnic. Oliver loves the animals and yesterday he got to meet their new baby reindeer, Noelle!

Oliver and Noelle the baby reindeer at High Park Zoo

Owen isn’t into animals so while Oliver was prancing around having a fabulous time, Owen and I were plodding along (or sitting) and reading together. He wanted to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and started tapping the ‘eat’ button whenever the caterpillar ate something. I showed him that he could say ‘ate’ instead, which he then started doing. Then we got to the page where the caterpillar makes the cocoon…

The Very Hungry Caterpillar pushed his way out of the cocoon

…and I noticed that Owen had independently navigated to his action words folder and had his finger poised over the word ‘push’!!

AAC - Owen's action words folder in Proloquo2Go

Owen currently uses the app Proloquo2Go (P2G) as his AAC. For those of you unfamiliar with P2G, I put together a very short demo so you can see how much Owen was doing in terms of navigating buttons and folders as well as conjugating verbs:


 This morning, as we got on the elevator Owen said, “book, streetcar”? I replied, “sorry bud, school today” and his response was “school bus”. As I was buckling him in on the bus he again said, “school bus” and I responded, “that’s right, I am on the school bus” and he immediately replied with, “on school bus”.

I think he’s getting the hang of this putting words together thing. 🙂



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2 Responses to Our picnic adventure – an AAC tale

  1. Lisa June 25, 2014 at 3:40 am #

    We love the Fimbles too. Do you think he might like a toy one?

    • OMum22 June 25, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Yes! He’s mad about toy figures 🙂

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