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Using technology to communicate

Historically, Mark has struggled with being able to communicate his feelings, and instead used some challenging behaviours to try and make people understand that he was unhappy about something.


However, a few years ago Mark was introduced to a SALT app called Gemiini, which plays short videos showing Mark examples of appropriate communication. Mark enjoys watching these every day and will repeat the phrases to staff although not usually in context.


Slowly, Mark began to use some of the sentences in context, to communicate to staff that there was something wrong.


The first time Mark used a sentence from the app was when he bumped his elbow while making breakfast.


Rather than biting his finger, which is his usual way of communicating that something is wrong, Mark took the staff members hand and placed it on his elbow and used the phrase from one of his Gemiini videos “ouch that hurt”, and staff were amazed.

Mark was also able to let staff know that his shoe was broken. Usually, staff would have to distract Mark to get his broken shoes and replace them with an identical pair.

On this occasion staff communicated verbally to Mark that they were broken and needed to go in the bin. Mark handed the pair of shoes to staff and said “put them in the bin” then waited for the staff member to get him a new pair, Mark accepted these with no issues and carried on to enjoy his day.


This is a huge step forward for Mark and staff are looking forward to the next time Mark amazes them by telling them verbally what he wants or needs.






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