Where did it come from – the ubiquitous empty ‘so’? Did it travel along with the dreaded upspeak (or uptalk)? I am getting to the point where I take no notice of the intended message someone is imparting but tally the number of meaningless ‘so’ sentence-starts and upspeak ends!

But I digress. This year I am working on illustration with Carla Sonheim and intend to upload a suite of fairy tales which will have a version with symbols, a slightly longer text with illustrations, and a story written by Pip Harrison to read to children on the same theme.

Anyone trying to design resources for early or struggling readers will know how difficult it is to use:

  • a minimal but useful vocabulary
  • straightforward grammar
  • helpful layout

and still manage to put over a message.

I was running through some of the basics of Widgit’s Communicate:In Print with a group of TAs recently and thought to myself I wasn’t succeeding in getting over the message that knowing what the software can do is only a beginning! Creating the content is by far the most time-consuming element. It took me hours and several drafts to cut and re-cut the first fairy tale which I hope to upload shortly. Like my mother used to tell me, ‘It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it!’

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