Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Louis’ has some holiday homework to complete on the Victorians this half term so we decided to take a stroll over the Tamar Bridge to check out the statue of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This gave us a good view of Brunel’s bridge, although Joseph seemed a little worried that Archie might be keen to get closer.

When we eventually arrived at the statue Archie was more interested in getting into the pub next door for pop but did pose with his brothers.

His choice of the word ‘pop’ interested both me and Flo (our helper for the day, Flo is a speech and language therapist who has been helping us out since she was a student). It wasn’t a word that either of us would have expected Archie to be familiar with really. We discussed how many words Archie uses now that he had no way of expressing before he had his talker.

This screenshot gives a snapshot of the type of vocabulary he can now use. He couldn’t have communicated pop or tunnel for example, or park, or chewbacca, or not going to the beach today. And he couldn’t have shared his comment on the area under the Tamar bridge (as we sheltered from the rain) dark. It was as well.

The talker has given him the opportunity to join in our conversations and to take an active role in commenting on the world around him. He’s no longer forced to be passive around language, he can shape it and use it and insist that we listen. Whether he’s asking to go through the tunnel, or telling us something is dark, he has his voice. Oh and thanks to the talker we did end up taking Chewbacca to the park in the heavy rain. He was able to argue for what he wanted (and won).

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