Location: Virginia; USA
What is your connection to the spelling community?
My teenage son has communicated via letter board since 2015. Since then, I have learned so much about the challenges families face in accommodating the communication of a nonspeaking individual, especially in public education. I have launched several academically-focused enterprises, including this site, to help families solve the problem of finding enriching content for their student. In my own life, I returned to school to become a special education advocate in order to assist families in getting their communication needs met in public schools.
How would you describe your lessons and lesson-writing style?
I write a lot of the lessons on the site that are targeted to supporting academics, and I also like to write about current events.
What makes you see a topic and say, "I want to write a lesson about that?"
Usually when I encounter something that I think has larger context beyond the lesson itself. I like to write lessons that help students connect dots to bigger issues.
What's your best advice to someone new to spelled communication?
Have confidence! Gaining confidence in what I was doing with my son is what made all the difference. Confidence engenders trust, and trust is such a critical part of opening up our communication with each other.
Animals are the original nonspeaking beings. If you could communicate fluently with one species, which would it be and why?
Great white sharks! Partly because I'm terrified of them (shouldn't have watched the movie "Jaws" when I was a kid), and understanding is so often the pathway to reducing or eliminating fear. But also because so little is known about them, and what we do know is often misunderstood. I think many in the nonspeaking community can relate to that.