Accessibility, Essays, MoonDay School, parenting

The Non-Verbal Pagan

Having non-verbal members of the household is sometimes more challenging than one would think.

When someone can’t express their ideas or desires, frustration builds quickly. Further, that’s just the daily things they see – it’s hard to ask if they understand something you’re teaching, because they can’t just spout off all the information you’ve given them.

Enter the world of augmentative communication. Some people use sign language in situations like this. Some use speech generating devices. And some use a system called PECS. A lot of families use a combination  of all of the above – anything to get the ideas out of their loved ones heads is acceptable.

There aren’t a standard set of ASL signs for Pagan topics. And given the fine motor skill challenges my son faces, we’re running into limits in his ability to sign complex thoughts.

It would be straight forward to add Pagan things to his speech generating device…but my daughter doesn’t have one yet. And because they’re both young, we really need pictures that symbolize each thing for the spots on the device.

Since we need pictures anyway, I thought designing symbols along the lines of those used for PECS would be good. A group of us brainstormed words, and one of the members of the group (Amy Dixon) who is much faster with Boardmaker than I am made symbols as we talked about what symbols made the most sense. There are Wiccan symbols, but also a few Asatru and Druid symbols too – and if you’re looking for other words, drop by the group or mention them in the comments here and we’ll see what we can do.

And so, finally, after way too many interruptions, I printed everything out, took it out to Lakeshore Learning to be laminated (if you have one near you and sign up for their teacher discount card, laminating is stupidly cheap). And now we have this:

Pagan PECS images

 

Here’s hoping this makes teaching about Sabbats a little easier. I’m also hoping to write some social stories, with these images embedded in the story, so kids know what to expect at events too.

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