Spelling to Communicate
Communication can be very challenging for individuals with sensory-motor differences. The cognitive ability to form thoughts and opinions is intact, but the motor skills necessary to express these thoughts and opinions are lacking. This is often referred to as brain body disconnect . To help address this disconnect, we teach the motor skills necessary to point to letters and spell out words as an alternative means of communication. Through consistent practice and skill development, spellers move from spelling on letter boards to typing on a keyboard. As the motor skills become easier, the cognitive challenge is increased. Through this process, individuals with sensory motor differences gain the skills necessary to communicate any thought, idea, opinion, or belief they so choose.
Kelley, our occupational therapist and spelling to communicate practitioner, was introduced to this method while working with autistic students at InterPLAY Learning Academy in Tampa, Florida. To further her skills, Kelley participated in a 6 month intensive ACTS (Accessing the Community Through Spelling) training course. She continues to pursue experience and educational opportunities as they apply to this method. She also works closely with a network of other ACTS professionals to provide well-informed, quality services.