Making A Promise…

Flossie has been in the Brownies for about a year now, and recently it was her turn to make her Brownie Guide promise. For most mums this would have signalled a week of getting their daughter to memorise the Brownie promise and law. But how to achieve this when your daughter is not only non-verbal, but also doesn’t do Makaton…

While Flossie is getting better at communication it is mostly on her own terms, tugging at our trouser legs is generally a big hint that she wants to be picked up, or if she’s in her wheelchair, she’ll get hold of our hands and pull them towards her. If I give her a choice of puddings then cake is always her favourite, followed by jelly and as a last resort she’ll eat fruit puree (I really can’t fault her for this, I would make the same choices!). But making a statement of intention or a promise is beyond her capabilities, but we did kind of make it happen…

I borrowed one of her communication switches from school and recorded the Brownie promise onto it, and put a picture of a Brownie Guide badge on it to signal what this was for. The night before I introduced her to it. She thought it was quite funny and kept pressing the button which meant that it kept stopping and starting, I actually began to worry that her promise might take about 10 minutes at the rate she was going!

On the actual night though, all went to plan. Another Brownie skipped round the circle of the group with me and Flossie in tow, we stopped at the leader, Flossie was span round in her wheelchair, and then she pressed the button, cocked her head and listened while she received her Brownie Guide badge and officially became a member of the Hedgehog six. One very proud mummy here and a lesson for the other Brownies who will have learnt a little more about communication devices.

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