Hockey Lessons

November 12, 2013 by - 2 Comments

Hockey Lessons
A- A+

When WrightsLaw  posted the video below on Facebook, we just had to share it on our PrAACtical AAC FB page. If you haven’t seen this clip from Special Hockey International, do yourself a favor and watch it.  We may not be the world’s biggest hockey fans, but we got something quite meaningful from this clip and think you will, too.

Here are the some of the things we’ve been pondering after watching the video.

1. Friendship matters. Teaching friendship skills is central to our mission as SLPs, not a trivial thing that we might focus on after all the other goals are accomplished. If our AAC learners have no real relationships outside of their own families and those professionals and caregivers paid to work with them, how much impact  have our therapies really made? If they are lonely, has what we’ve done really mattered?

2. A single act of kindness can change someone’s life.

3. Inclusive experiences are the perfect breeding ground for friendships to develop.

4. Training peers to be good AAC communication partners is something we need to do more of.

5. Patience is more than a virtue. Being able to wait patiently is a pivotal skill for AAC interventionists.

6. Not giving up. It isn’t always easy to teach language to some clients with significant communication challenges. It can be hard. Really hard. Really tiring. Really frustrating. But chances are, if we stick with it and redouble our efforts, the results will make it all worthwhile.  

7. Little steps. Just keep taking them. The only real failure is giving up.

8. Ignore the competition. It’s true that they may be faster and stronger. But if we focus on the things we CAN’T do, we lose the opportunity to celebrate (and strengthen) the things we CAN do.


Who would have thought there would be so much AAC wisdom gained from watching a hockey practice?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed under:

Tagged With:

This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Aletta Sinoff says:

    Yes this brought me to tears, especially having raised a “typical” son who played hockey and a younger son with ASD. I am an SLP currently working in private practice with young kids and their families who live with a variety of diagnoses including ASD, Language Disorders, and ID. Thank you for bringing home what really counts.

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Thank YOU, Aletta, for taking the time to read the post, view the video, and make that comment. There is so much we can and do learn from these kids!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.