Charlie has come to the end of his Pre-School education- the period of transition to Big School is more of a worry for Lou and me but he is super excited.
To finish Little Imps, all the children had a little graduation ceremony and performed some singing and dancing. Charlie has developed a reputation for being a little joker so they asked if he could tell a few jokes in-between a few of the songs.
This was a super excuse to get Charlie using his Forbrain and practice his lines.
Using his Forbrain he is much more aware of his own voice; how he sounds, how loud he is and the rhythm of it. To perform his little number practicing with his ForBrain helped him remember his jokes but also to get the articulation and inflection right, we all know a joke can be ruined if the teller’s voice is monotone and uninteresting!
We sat Charlie in his little chair and put his Forbrain on, just for 5-10mins a day while we sat telling jokes. Charlie would listen to us tell jokes and then he would repeat them back- obviously to start with he literally just said them back in a flat and monotonous tone. As we asked him to tell us the jokes he would get them mixed up and we found it just as funny and he loved us laughing at him.
After a few days of practice he was getting the punchlines right but what was lovely to hear was how he infused his personality into the articulation, getting the inflection and rhythm just right. His comic timing was evident and his little repertoire of jokes increased. Hearing his own voice gives him a ‘live’ feedback on his own voice but the ‘gaiting’ from the Forbrain focuses his attention on to the auditory information, possibly making things easier to remember.
Having seen musicians and performers using microphones on the TV means that Charlie loves using the Forbrain microphone- he really felt like a little performer practicing for his show and actively wanted to do ‘his homework’ as he felt he looked like he was on the TV.
Initially we used the Forbrain to try to help Charlie overcome any complications in his communication caused by his CP- he still has issues with his rhythm when he is active, but this is likely down to the increased attentional load put upon his busy brain when trying to overcome his high tone. What has been nice for us is how the Forbrain appears to have shifted from a speech and language development tool into a performance enhancing tool. We didn’t really expect to be helping Charlie so much as to be the centre-of-attention! We still use it while we use letter and number blocks as his articulation on G, H and J phonetically are a little blurred.
Charlie’s graduation went swimmingly; he sang his songs and told his jokes. He got one wrong, slapped his head and exclaimed, ‘whoops- I shouldn’t have said that…!’ and everyone laughed, encouraging him to tell another. Having practiced with his Forbrain he also seemed more able to perform the actions to his songs better- maybe he felt much more ‘organised’ within his body and more able to overcome his tone as he was more relaxed?
-Why did Red (Angry Bird) go to the doctor? To get TWEETment.
-Two fish in a tank; one says to the other, ‘how do you drive this thing?’
-What is a monsters favourite pudding? I SCREAM
He even decided to make up a few of his own, not quite as successful but he belly laughs every time he tells them;
-Knock knock. Who’s there? Em. Em who? Emmett (Lego Movie)
-What’s Dracula’s favourite flavour ice cream? FANG-illa
Don’t give up the day job kid…
Xmas 2017 update
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