Speech and Hearing Center hosts second annual camp for children with AAC devices
Children who use Words for Life (WFL) vocabulary are invited to Camp TnT (Talking in Turner: A Communication Explosion) June 12-15 from 8:30 a.m. to noon hosted by the Speech and Hearing Center at Mississippi University for Women.
“Camp TnT is designed to encourage natural language and communication through fun, engaging activities such as crafts, sensory play and music,” said Jennifer Pounders, instructor and clinical supervisor of speech-language pathology.
The camp is for children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and will focus on encouraging language development, language use and social interactions with peers in a typical summer camp, language-rich environment. The event is limited to campers ages 5 to 10 years old.
“Camp TnT will give children who use AAC devices to communicate more opportunities to use those devices to communicate not only with the adults around them but with their peers who are also using AAC devices while participating in a fun summer camp setting. We hope to increase their functional communication skills while also improving their social interactions with others,” said Ashley Alexander, clinic director and instructor of speech-language pathology.
The camp will provide a one-to-one camper/counselor ratio. Campers will participate in large and small group activities four rotations that will include arts and crafts, gross and fine motor skill games, snacks, story time and songs. All rotations will focus on the camp’s theme of oceans.
Alexander said, “Communication is vital to everything we do each and every day. It is how we build relationships. Children make friends and make connections with others through the use of communication skills. Children who use AAC devices often have limited opportunities to interact with other AAC users but camp can foster a sense of belonging and a sense of community for a child who doesn’t communicate using typical means.”
Training sessions will be available for the parents of campers. Parents and caregivers will learn to program for AAC devices so that they can personalize the communication devices with people, places and things that are important in the child’s life.
“The summer camp activities are fun and engaging which is important for learning and encouraging progress in communication. These activities are a great way to help the children learn new vocabulary which is a critical building block to increasing language skills,” explained Alexander.
Applications are available through The W’s Speech and Hearing Center website: https://www.muw.edu/centers/shc.
Registration also is available by contacting Ashley Alexander at (662) 329-7278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Register early as capacity is limited.