Stroke The Feather
Some suggestions on how to use this song
This song was made specifically to encourage early AAC voice output switch users to enjoy switch activity and interaction. It is best sung with just one individual. Record the first line of the song onto the voice output switch. Keep the feather underneath the tray or table. When the learner activates the switch and sings the first line, bring the feather into view and enable him/her to feel it and enjoy the slow movement through the air. Then you sing the rest of the song, slowly, warmly and interactively. The song is deliberately short, and when it ends, hide the feather away again. Then look expectantly at the learner and wait for him/her to activate the switch again.
I have found that learners are motivated to activate their switches many times in order for this song to continue.
I have acquired large yellow ostrich feathers which most learners like to look at, feel and touch. Ostrich feather are also surprisingly strong and not many bits get pulled off! If you are using a real feather, please check that learners do not have an allergy to feathers. This song can be flexible – you can alter the words to suit whatever items you have e.g.
Stroke the doll’s hair gently
Touch the wind chimes gently
Attach a switch cap picture to the voice output switch; a photo, a drawing or a symbol.
I also often place a large A5 or A4 symbol upright behind the switch, to give the learner more information about where the switch is. This can be supported on a foam wedge or a Maxess wedge. This ‘formula’ for a song works well with all sort of items, though you need to make up new words for the items you have available (e.g. rainstick, ocean drum, squeaky toys), and new simple tunes to give the right feel