Hello! This is a ridiculously simple communication aid that has had almost 100% success with my students! When you are working with early communicators I have found that food requests are very often your best bet to get a student started is with food requests.
You can do this with any favored food but this is how I would use food coupons for successful communication. Whenever you are sharing a treat with the class, in this case cookies, you can create a coupon for students to use. You may actually be targeting one student but the coupon creates a situation that has TONS of modeling how the coupon works and the students gets a cookie for their effort.
You can make coupons like this for every treat or food item. A coupon does not only mean the student gets a treat, it means they see all of their classmates exchange an icon for a cookie for a cookie. This can be 12 to 20 examples of exchanging an icon modeled for your student before it is their turn. You can tweek this by having them come to your desk, by going to their desk and by them having to go pick up or cut out their own coupon.
Mr B's Classroom and MrBsClassroom.com are the creations of Brett Bigham, the 2014 Oregon State Teacher of the Year. Brett was awarded a 2015 NEA National Award for Teaching Excellence and named an NEA Foundation Global Fellow that same year. He loves creating curriculum for his students and yours!