The Power of a Laugh

Monday, April 13, 2015

One of my non-verbal students recently received an iPad with the AMAZING Dynavox Compass app downloaded on it for communication. We were relaxing a bit after lunch listening to our ocean sounds (and pretending we were laying on the beach getting a least I was) and I hear an automated, "that's funny!" and a little giggle...and then more giggles from two or three other students. It was music to my ears. My little class clown is finally able to SPEAK and make jokes and be mischievous with his peers. There is nothing like seeing him light up and giggle and laugh. It brings so much joy to my heart. It did not take him long to find his other two favorite phrases: "I want goldfish crackers," and "you're a turkey." He just looks at me, presses "You're a turkey" and giggles and giggles. The jokes on you, Miss Dill. I love it.

I feel like I am learning to enjoy those simple moments and become a facilitator of more moments just like it. Today I made sure to spend at least five minutes with two of my non-verbal kiddos and the ipad. We just talked about their weekend and I asked them random questions. We talked. We laughed. We played Simon Says. For the first part of the year, it was so difficult for me to figure out how to incorporate the iPad as a tool for communication into instruction. It felt so forced. It wasn't until I just tried to chit chat and laugh with my students, putting aside my own teaching "to-do" list, that I became an effective communicator (and teacher) with the iPad. I'm learning a whole new definition of speaking, friendship, and laughing from my ten precious students and I am so very thankful for that.

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