What is S2C?
S2C stands for Spelling to Communicate, but what does that mean, exactly? Spelling to Communicate teaches individuals with motor challenges the purposeful motor skills necessary to point to letters to spell as an alternative means of communication. Did I lose you at purposeful motor? Purposeful motor means that you’re THINKING about something and doing it. Think back to when you first got in a car, or WAY back to when you first learned to walk – you had to think about it! Now, for many of us, both walking and driving are automatic, and with practice the purposeful motor of spelling accurately on a letterboard becomes automatic as well!
Our goal is to help our spellers achieve synchrony between their brain and their body. Skilled and rigorously trained S2C Practitioners will work with your speller to teach the purposeful motor skills of pointing accurately at a letterboard using a hierarchy of verbal and gestural prompts that will be faded over time as accuracy improves. The difference in S2C is that we are addressing MOTOR differences that affect an individual’s ability to communicate. All COMMUNICATION requires motor! Language is the rule based system for understanding and representing thoughts and ideas. Language is COGNITIVE. Speech is the physical production of our expressive language and requires MOTOR. Imagine sitting in on a lecture at a conference. It’s inappropriate to speak during the presentation, however as you sit there and listen, you not only understand everything the presenter is saying (receptive language), you also have thoughts and opinions in your head about the content being presented (expressive language). Not being able to speak does not affect your ability to understand and think! Speech and language are two completely different processes.
In S2C, teaching and motor practice centers around engaging cognitive lessons. We feed the brain with interesting and captivating information, which can help to regulate the body! The motor skills that your speller will develop progress along an increasingly complex hierarchy from pointing to letters on three boards (with 8 – 9 letters per board) to all 26 letters on one board, to a laminated alphabet board, held keyboard, and independent typing on a keyboard. Communication will move from concrete to abstract as your speller’s motor skills progress. With time and practice, accuracy is developed and open, fluent communication is achieved, giving your speller autonomy and allowing the world to get to know who your speller is as an individual!
Kelly Berg is the Lead S2C Practitioner at Growing Kids Therapy Center, as well as a member of the Leadership Cadre at the International Association for Spelling as Communication. She loves talking about S2C, so shoot her an email at email@example.com if you have any questions!