CUSTOMIZE WITH SHOGUN

Tell all about it - visual references to promote sharing instead of silence

by Sandy Klindworth MS, CCC-SLP July 17, 2018

tell all about it

If asked how I spent the weekend, I might reach for my phone to share a picture of the dog park or the concert. Even those of us with mature language skills find it easier to recall and tell about something when we have a visual referent. For children with emerging communication skills, that tangible representation may be the difference between silence and sharing.    

The importance of visual references 

An emerging communicator talks about the now, whether a thing: Dog! Or an event: Bye Bye! As language develops, teaching the communicator to recall and share their experiences is facilitated by providing a tangible representation of those events, with symbols, photos, or objects.   

  • Picture Communication Symbols have long been used to prompt and support receptive and expressive language in children with developmental delays, and their use has become best practice.    
  • Typically developing children have been found to have richer interactions with parents after daycare or school when provided with meaningful, child-centered materials to take home and share.   
  • Multiple studies have found efficacy in using remnant and picture books in supporting communication in adults with acquired communication deficits.    

Shared pictures, symbols, or remnants establish a shared topicand the communication partner, whether parent, peer, or professional, can provide support and scaffolding to facilitate a conversation about that topic.    

Ideas & resources 

  1. Remnant Books (or boxes or bags!): A collection of remnants (pictures, objects, partial objects, or picture symbols) to represent events and activities in a visual and tactile way.   
  • Get started here with a great resource from The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  
  1. Note Home/Note to School: Symbol-supported, often template or form-style notes designed to share information about what happened.  
  • Find dozens of examples of these for free on the web and in the Boardmaker Online Community, like this one here.  
  • Use Boardmaker templates to create your own, personalized, check-list style notes. Get a free trial of Boardmaker Online here 
  • Bonus idea: Take photos when the child is engaged in activities and upload those photos right into the note in Boardmaker. 
  1. Journaling: Use the representational items and any necessary supports to create journals that include symbols, pictures, remnants, and writing!  
  • Find dozens of examples of supported writing activities to print or use interactively on the Boardmaker Community here.  You can edit them to suit! 
  • Create your own journal with a writing template in Boardmaker! 

Make it Work! Plan for the time and create routines for collecting/creating the representational materials and for sharing about them. Put it on the schedule!

Sandy Klindworth MS, CCC-SLP
Sandy Klindworth MS, CCC-SLP

Sandy Klindworth, MS, CCC-SLP, is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) with 35 years of experience providing consultative, assessment, and therapy services for children with complex speech and language needs. After a career in the public schools, she worked in her own private practice adapting a SCERTS (Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Supports) approach with young children in clinic, home, and school environments. Sandy is currently a Boardmaker Learning Consultant on the Tobii Dynavox Learning Services team, creating and providing training, resources, and support to families and professionals.



Also in Latest News Blog

Boardmaker guest blog Lauren Nelson
Boardmaker Benefits

by Lauren Nelson April 23, 2019

Guest blogger Lauren Nelson explains how Boardmaker has become her sidekick for helping students with severe communication deficits.
Read More
AAC and the Environment
AAC and the Environment

by Carly Hynes April 22, 2019

In this special Earth Day blog post, Carly Hynes brings light to being environmentally friendly and using PCS symbols around the topic to help teach children about it's importance.
Read More
Phonemic awareness, check! Phonics, check! Decoding, check!
Phonemic awareness, check! Phonics, check! Decoding, check!

by Alex Smith April 15, 2019

In this guest blog, Randee Kushner explains how Boardmaker Activities-to-Go creates opportunities for students to develop their knowledge and engage more meaningfully.
Read More