Establish a 400-word vocabulary in nonverbal children and lay the foundation for communicating with pictures and signs. Children learn the new vocabulary in a variety of formats so they truly comprehend the words.
- Increase functional vocabulary with Picture Communication Symbols and manual signs
- Prepare nonverbal students to access augmentative communication systems through multi-modalities
- Expand vocabulary learning through literature, music, and/or hands-on experiences
The teaching methods are what most nonverbal children need—rote, systematic, and familiar.
The activities progress in the hierarchy that most verbal children acquire language:
- learning labels and attaching meaning
- developing vocabulary and concepts
- expanding vocabulary knowledge through associations and experience
The vocabulary is divided into five themes: Home, Community, Food, School, and Animals. Each theme consists of eight units and each unit teaches 10 functional vocabulary words (total of 80 vocabulary words in each theme).
The kit includes:
- 480 Boardmaker® symbols on perforated cards and on reproducible grids
- CD-ROM of printable grids in color and black and white and printable vocabulary cards in color
- 373-page manual with complete lesson plans
- sign language photos that correlate with Boardmaker® symbols and manual sign descriptions
- pre/post assessment for each theme
- progress charts
Step-by-step lessons are sequenced in this hierarchical order:
Identifying Labels—Unit vocabulary is introduced with individual picture vocabulary cards. Students identify labels by pointing to single pictures.
Learning Gestures & Signs—Photographs and descriptions for sign language are provided for each vocabulary word.
Listening Critically—Students answer questions about the vocabulary words when given two-picture choices. You have a choice of using simple or complex foils.
Fill-Ins—Students answer fill-in questions using simple or complex two-picture choices.
Answering Yes/No Questions 1 and 2—Use two-picture choices and yes/no icons to teach yes/no responses.
Simple Pointing with a Grid—Students practice pointing to vocabulary items on a grid.
Classifying—Students identify vocabulary by attributes, functions, and categories.
Enrichment and Extension Activities—Use music, literature, and hands-on activities to expand vocabulary.
Copyright © 2008
After two months of using the kit, my student is beginning to use gestures and signs in order to express himself. The joy of providing a means to communicate is overshadowed by the increase in his social skills and confidence. This product can be used with all skill levels of nonverbal children. In working with a population of students that have severe and profound disabilities, the Kit provides the opportunity to present a core vocabulary and a way to communicate with both peers and adults.
Denise Nyborg, SLP
Crab Orchard, KY
- AAC interventions should always be multimodal; that is, they should utilize "the individual's full communication abilities, including any residual speech or vocalizations, gestures, signs, and aided communication [e.g., picture symbols]" (ASHA, 1991, p. 10. In Beukelman & Mirenda,1998, p. 3).
- "Some individuals [who use AAC] may require a large number of trials to learn a basic core of signs or symbols" (Beukelman & Mirenda, 1998, p. 345).
- Aided language stimulation, an approach where the facilitator points to picture symbols and provides language stimulation, is ideal for building an iconic vocabulary for individuals who have limited picture/symbol/icon recognition (Downey et al., 2004).
- A consistent "Yes/No" response (through eye gaze, direct selection) is an effective AAC communication strategy (Downey et al., 2004).
- Within the Scope of Practice, the speech-language pathologist shall: 1.) Recognize, assist, and hold paramount the needs and interests of individuals who may benefit from AAC, 2.) Implement a multimodal approach to enhance effective communication, and 3.) Assess, intervene, and evaluate progress and outcomes associated with AAC interventions (ASHA, 2005).
For Nonverbal Children Functional Vocabulary Kit incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1991). Report: Augmentative and alternative communication. Asha, 33(Suppl. 5), 9-12.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to augmentative and alternative communication: Position statement [Position Statement]. Available from www.asha.org/policy
Beukelman, D.R., & Mirenda, P. (1998). Augmentative and alternative communication: Management of severe communication disorders in adults and children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Downey, D., Daugherty, P., Helt, S., & Daugherty, D. (2004, Sept. 21). Integrating AAC into the classroom: Low-tech strategies. The ASHA Leader, 6-7.