Masking language barriers
Rustenburg – The COVID-19 virus has all of us up in arms and traversing this new and uncharted territory is daunting for many people, but more so for those living with disabilities. People with autism rely on facial expressions to read social cues, and they need to understand why we are suddenly covering our faces.
Autism Little Learners speech therapist wrote a lovely story explaining the use and necessity of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic to students with autism. Rustenburg Skool vir Buitengewone Onderwys’ student governing body chairperson doctor Cathy Dzerefos saw an opportunity to translate the story for local learners.
Lebone II – College of the Royal Bafokeng Grade 12 learner Atlegang Dikgang translated the story to Setswana. Rustenburg Skool vir Buitengewone Onderwys educator Hendrik Bodenstein translated it to Afrikaans.
Both jumped at the opportunity to volunteer their services to translating Tuchel’s story. “Wearing a mask: A social narrative for children”. You can download it at www.autismlittlelearners.com.
The website offers several helpful resources, not only for autism-spectrum children, but for all kids who are confused by these strange times.
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