EFL Stories from the Road

A Story from Dr. Chiara Pezzana and the Staff of Centro per l’Autismo Enrico Micheli Novara… In Novara, Italy

Dr. Pezzana and the staff of this school serve young adults with autism. Many of these terrific young people are essentially non-verbal (few to no spoken words)…

In the past six months, six (yes, six) of these individuals BETWEEN THE AGES OF 20 AND 30, have become speakers for the first time in their lives using idiosyncratic signs to make requests for highly preferred items and activities…in their honor, the number of ‘new speakers’ attributable to teachers using Essential for Living will be incremented from 20 to 26…Congratulations to these individuals — Andrea, Ilaria, Giorgio, Giacomo, Federico, and Maria Grazia, their families, and the school staff… The following video shows one of the young men, Federico, expressing a request for pasta, which is now the sixth item or activity he can request without prompts… especially to the staff — WELL DONE…

NOW… THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE VIEWING THIS… GO MAKE SOMEONE A SPEAKER… AND LET US HEAR FROM YOU…

A Story… from Vickie Leahy and her EFL team from the Hedgewood School in Hillingdon (London), UK

This is an email that I received from Vickie…

Dear Dr McGreevy, 

I hope you are well. I would like to alert you to some new speakers, 9 in total. Here is a list of some of their new requests:

Signers (imitation)

  1. Rice, kit Kat, ice cream, tickles etc
  2. Starburst, skittle, cooking, pea etc

Signers (physical prompts) 

  1. Read(me a book), song, biscuit, clap, etc

Picture wearers [HER WORDS !!!]

  1. (Pick me) up, push, cake, and socks from r8 etc
  2. Lid, Pringle and cake etc
  3. Biscuit, bag and skittle etc
  4. Bombay mix, cheese, chocolate, bubble wrap etc
  5. Song, orange, biscuit etc
  6. Song, biscuit, orange etc

From this, these children are now making fantastic progress with the other skills in the essential 8. 

Thank for providing us with the Essential for Living Curriculum which has enhanced the quality of life for these young people in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. 

I am looking forward to your training in Hillingdon (London) in May where myself and my colleagues will be attending. 

NICE WORK…I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING THE EFL TEAM…