Many educational teams struggle with how to begin communication programming for a learner who communicates in idiosyncratic, nonconventional ways—that is, primarily without the use of symbols. Through the development and implementation of a nonsymbolic expressive signal dictionary and an augmented input receptive dictionary for an individual learner, a family and educational team can build a solid foundation for future communication programming. Family and team members will learn how to consistently respond to identified elements of a learner’s communication attempts (i.e., signals and gestures), and provide information to the learner in a consistent manner through gestures and spoken words / manual signs. By implementing these strategies, the team is much more likely to facilitate successful communicative interactions and collectively move the learner’s skills in the direction of symbolic communication.
Presenter: Dr. Susan M. Bashinski