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Special Collection

Dog Man Story

The Dog Man Story is an epic story written by an 18-year-old girl who is deafblind and working on developing her negotiating skills.

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Epic stories for Playing with Words
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This student, who is 18 years old and deafblind, has been working on this particular story since September 2017 (more than 2 years). As of this writing, it is 804 pages long (36 point, single spaced).


Gabby will effectively negotiate with peers with decreasing amounts of adult support.

Note that I use the “Playing with Words” technique to practice skills that the student can use later in the week during group instruction in her English Language Arts class. In individual sessions, situations in which the story characters will have to negotiate are engineered.


Planning Sheet for Dog Man Story
Dog Man planning sheet, part 2
Download the Planning Sheet:
     –  PDF
     –  Word Document

Videos of Individual Session

Before the beginning of this session, the following prompt was shared with the student:


What We're Going To Do TodayWhat We Are Going To Do Today

The Dog Man Story — the characters will disagree about what they want to do or what they want.  They will have to negotiate.  They will have to talk to each other and find a way to make both people happy.


In the first video we see Gabby working on her epic story with me in an individual Speech session.


In the second video, we see the computer screen as Gabby composes her story.


Dog Man Story

Please note that I wrote what is in blue in the story and the student, Gabby, wrote what is in black.  This distinction was made for this website, so that readers will know who did what.  Part of the story was written by Gabby independently.  We worked on it together one time prior to the session that was taped.  During that session all this stuff about bombs came up and I was trying to emphasize how serious a bomb threat is.  I was also trying to do some follow up teaching about trials because that’s something she studied a few years ago. These sessions are a great time to capitalize on incidental learning.

Very few corrections were made to the story and you will notice some errors.  Since this is not an assignment, syntax and grammar were not specifically addressed.

Dog Man Story

Download the Dog Man story (Word document).


Reflections on the Activity: Dog Man Story
Download the Reflections on the Dog Man story.

Reflection from Gabby’s Mother

It’s very interesting watching the story my daughter’s awakening to language unfold. She is currently 18 years old and a high school senior at TSBVI. She was a micro preemie and is deafblind with cochlear implants. So, speech therapy, from feeding issues to articulation has been a part of her daily life. Unfortunately, fluid natural  communication is something that has always been out of her grasp. That was until the dog man collaborative sessions with her speech therapist Jay Hiller.  These sessions gave Gabby context for communication, an understanding of others’ perspectives, access to age appropriate language, all while being fun. The sessions, which are well organized and dynamic, drew Gabby in, in ways no other therapy has.  Working on these stories in such a collaborative fashion allowed Gabby access to language in a way that she never had prior. Her conversations and communication have grown exponentially and we are forever grateful.

Hybrid Story

SLP Jay Hiller wrote the story below using the Dogman characters to help Gabby understand something that was going on at school.  The blue font color reflects what Jay wrote and black indicates what Gabby wrote.  Jay also added an introduction at the beginning and boxes with her comments.

Playing with Words to Address Social Understanding
Click on text above to download.
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