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Make and Take: Communication Boards UM-NSU-CARD. Dr. Robin Parker December 1, 2006. Focus. Terminology Basic Decision Making Issues Purposes of Communication Systems Selecting and Organizing Vocabulary Promoting Use of the Communication System Resources. Terminology.

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Make and Take: Communication Boards UM-NSU-CARD

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Make and take communication boards um nsu card l.jpg

Make and Take:Communication BoardsUM-NSU-CARD

Dr. Robin Parker

December 1, 2006

Focus l.jpg


  • Terminology

  • Basic Decision Making Issues

  • Purposes of Communication Systems

  • Selecting and Organizing Vocabulary

  • Promoting Use of the Communication System

  • Resources

Terminology l.jpg


  • AAC-Augmentative and Alternative Communication

  • PCS-Picture Communication Symbols (different from PECS-Picture Exchange Communication System)

  • VOCA-Voice Output Communication Aide

  • Symbol Set-type of symbols to use for communication system

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Decision Making

  • Decide symbol set

    • Picture Symbols

      • Type-Mayer Johnson-PCS, real photos, dynasyms

    • Words

    • Both

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Decision Making Continued…

  • Identify the purpose for the display

    • General expressive communication and language

      • Sharing thoughts, making requests, getting help, telling about past or future events, asking questions, social communication, answering questions

    • To actively participate in classroom activities or group routine

      • Reciting the Pledge, Calling attendance, Giving the daily news, giving an oral book report, doing show and tell etc.

    • For receptive language and organization

      • To follow instructions, to be more independent, to understand sequence of events etc.

    • For organization and navigation within the communication aide or device

      • A main page that allows exploration in an organized fashion to other ‘pages’

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Decision Making Continued…

  • How will the child use the communication system?

    • To create new sentences by combining words /pictures/or letters

    • To communicate an entire thought

      • Look in my backpack, That’s not what I meant

    • Communicate a predictable sequence

      • Words to a song, lines from a book

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For General Expressive Communication: For this Make and Take

  • Consider Activity Based Pages

  • Keep Commonly used vocabulary on the same place on each page (more, thank you, finished)

  • Organize vocabulary to teach sentence building

    • Left to right

    • Think sentence subject-object-action (Johnny more, Give juice, See plane, need marker, we go park)

    • Add in other word classes such as descriptors, conjunctions, prepositions, questions words, and social conventions as appropriate

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Common Display

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Other considerations

  • May sentence build for strong communication functions

  • May use one symbol to convey message in absent or limited communication function

  • Consider that requests may be very strong while comments may be more limited

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Consider Color-Coding

  • More than looking good

  • Have a purpose

    • To distinguish between word classes

    • To have new communication functions stand out

  • Be as consistent as possible with color coding between displays

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Some Examples

Images courtesy of:

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Courtesy: TLC, Mary Ann Lowe

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Courtesy of:

Kim Berwa, 2003

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Sharing Information

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Alisyn Clayman, NSU, 2002

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NSU,Autism Spectrum Disorder Class, 2002

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Organization for Group Displays

  • Make display easy to use

  • There is often time pressure

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Promoting Use of AAC Strategies

  • Use Aided Language Stimulation Techniques

  • Limit questions

  • Increase Pause Time

  • Use Communication Temptations and Sabotage Strategies

  • Provide Non-Verbal Cueing

  • Provide Appropriate Verbal Feedback

  • Expect To Provide A Lot of Practice

  • Think of AAC Strategies as Prolonged Visual Representation of Language

  • Use your team to work together to make this work for the child

  • Have Fun!!

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Getting Started..

  • Do not worry about perfection

  • Think about what you want the child to say/communicate

  • Use the communication display to talk about the activity or event before, during, and after .

  • Let’s Start Creating…

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Websites…Just a few….

  • Do2Learn


  • Mayer-Johnson


  • Mayer-Johnson


  • New 2 You


  • Social Stories


  • Use Visual Strategies


  • Speaking of Speech


  • Login