Basic Communication Board for Teaching Core Words

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Basic Communication Board for Teaching Core Words
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This is good for modeling and using with children or adults to communicate who do not yet understand more robust communication systems, or to use in situations where those more robust systems may not be as appropriate (such as in instances where a device might get broken or damaged).

There are several ways you can use this.
1. Give it to the user to carry around with them
2. Keep one on you, to pull out for communication
3. Send it home with parents so their children can communicate there as well
4. Tape or velcro it to the tops of desks at school (we've done this at my school with good success for modeling, hand over hand, and independent use to answer questions, comment, and request) or to cupboards, etc where the user can consistently access them.

The words are chosen to allow the user to not only request, which PECS often limits them to, but also learn to comment and ask and answer questions. The words are chosen to allow for all three functions. Several words have multiple functions, such as turn (which can be used in "my turn", "turn on", and "turn" as in turn around) and color (as in "I want [to] color" or "what color?"), which can teach children more about the multiple meanings of words.

The board's color coding is generally aligned with the word's function. Nouns and pronouns are a light orange, verbs are light green, adjectives are light blue, and prepositions are magenta. Not only is this to make it easier to find words you're looking for, but it's also subtly teaching the user about the parts of speech.

Finally, the board is designed to help teach emotional regulation. Students can use (or you can model) the board to express if they're feeling good or upset. They can also use the board to request a break if they're feeling upset, or request help to prevent the frustration in the first place.

Even with students who don't yet understand how to use the board, you can use it yourself to model to them how it's supposed to be used. We talk to babies for over a year before we ever expect them to talk back - just the same, we need to model the use of a communication board before we expect a child to use it on their own. (And also just the same as a baby learning to talk, when children first start to use the board they "babble" - touch nonsense words - before they learn to use it purposefully. Just like with a baby, you should still reward them for "babbling", and see it as an attempt to communicate.) Here's a great example of using a communication board to model language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omJns26mTHM
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Basic Communication Board for Teaching Core Words