Things to know about Symbols
- Speech in isolation can produce tension. Tension lessens the chance of clear speech and frustration increases. More successful speech occurs if children can be encouraged to verbalise the symbols.
- Using symbols increases language stimulation and gives a purpose for communication. Skills will transfer when speech becomes functional.
- Behavioural problems: Symbols can clarify boundaries visually, but are often not considered until behaviour is out of control.
- Literacy skills: ‘reading’ the symbols left to right. Written word can be printed above the symbol, to change the emphasis.
- Developing memory: Lists, messages and instructions can be given to a non-reader, increasing independence and understanding.
- Syntax: Correct phrase and sentence formation can be practised, as symbols give non-readers the visual component to language that readers have.
- Writing: composing stories, making choices and recalling events
- Assessment: symbols can be used to assess a child’s understanding of educational targets.
Take into consideration:
- Is the child developmentally ready for recognizing photographs/pictures of objects and associating them with the real object?
- Will symbols be motivating to the child?
- Who will use them with the child?
- Who is the facilitator, to make the resources and ensure use?