The Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network... a support group for professional development, problem solving, leadership, mentoring, and training in the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to develop communication in non-speaking and minimally verbal individuals in the Southern California Region.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

AAC on TV! (Speechless, ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30)

Have you seen the first episode of Speechless? This fall, ABC has launched a new sitcom that features a central character who has cerebral palsy (played by a guy with CP!) and uses AAC. The series premier aired Wednesday, September 12 at 8:30, and if you haven't heard about it around the water cooler, I suggest you catch up pronto!

From Neil Genzlinger's article in the NY Times:
“Speechless” is a classic domestic comedy — yes, a comedy — centered on a 16-year-old named JJ DiMeo who has cerebral palsy, can’t speak and uses an alternative-communication device to express himself. He’s the eldest of three children, and he’s played by Micah Fowler, who himself has cerebral palsy, a casting decision that alone makes this series stand out.
Minnie Driver portrays his mother, Maya, who like a lot of parents of children with disabilities sometimes turns into a wild-eyed, not-always-rational warrior for her son. JJ has two siblings (Mason Cook and Kyla Kenedy) whose own needs tend to get overlooked, a common thing in such households. John Ross Bowie plays the father, Jimmy, who struggles to keep Maya from sailing off the edge.
Genzlinger includes that the show’s creator, Scott Silveri, grew up in a home much like the one in “Speechless,” with a nonverbal brother with cerebral palsy and other health issues. The depiction 'fits' to Genzlinger from his vantage as a parent of a daughter with Rett syndrome.

Take a watch! And let us know what you think.

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