Using a Communication Book

If you work in Spec Ed like myself you've probably stumbled upon students who are non-verbal or have very limited speech. This can result in a lot of behaviour problems because the students get so worked up that they can't communicate with us what they need. As you can imagine it's a very frustrating process.

A lot of students may be able to still point out what they are after, however some may not be at this point yet and the students who can point may not actually be able to point to what they want all the time. This is when some professionals think it best to start listing all the options until they see a reaction from the student - this is language overload and the student will have probably lost concentration after a few seconds and haven't had enough time to process all the different requests that are being thrown at them.

So, what now?
How about introducing a communication book.

Yep, you heard me, a communication book. You may not have ever heard of a communication book or if you have, you may not have ever seen one in action to fully understand exactly how it works and how it will benefit your students. 

You literally print out the pages and symbols that you want/need. Cut out, laminate and velcro (I know, all that prep is hard work and really tiring but it's so worth it, I promise!) then bind it together as a book or hole punch and put in a small ring binder file.

I recommend putting 6 symbols to a page just so it's not too over crowded and you don't want to offer too many choices to the student or they're not going to be able to choose because they're so overwhelmed with choices!

Each page is a different topic i.e people, food, numbers, colours (this resource comes in both spelling options of color and colour). 

This is the card that students will put their selected choice on and hand to you/member of staff to request what they want. I recommend using a strip of velcro so that students can velcro their requests onto the card without them falling off or getting lost.

Once you feel your student is ready to progress to the next level you can get them to move on i.e instead of "I want orange" you can encourage them to ask how many oranges they want i.e "I want 1 orange" and also introduce colours i.e instead of "I want blocks" you can encourage them ask "I want red blocks", then you can also encourage them to start selecting the person that they are asking...

All you have to do is make up symbol of the staff that are in class, encourage the student to put the staff/symbol at the start of the sentence i.e 'Miss X I want apple'.

This resource already comes with a wide range of different symbols, if there is something not there that you desperately need you can always request and I will do my best for your needs.

Thanks for stopping by!

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