What do we know about communication?
- Everyone communicates, but not everyone can speak
- Someone may not speak well enough to meet their needs, but they still communicate
- If we know exactly how someone communicates, they can be understood
What does this person use to communicate?
- Communication device?
- Signs or gestures?
- Body language or facial expressions?
- Sounds or movements?
- Other ways?
Communication Inventory (Example)
Communication Method Y/N Level When used Example
|Speech||Y||One word at a time||Naming Marvel characters
|Point to picture of “Spiderman”|
|Signs or Gestures||Y||Single signs
|Wants to eat
|Sign for “eat”, “cookie”, “pizza”|
|Body language or facial expression||Y||Waves, Smiles, Frowns||Greeting, Expressing emotions||Waves and smiles when happy
|Sounds or movements||Y||Hums; Pulls someone’s arm||When a favorite item is out of reach||Starts humming and pulls others to the location of an item|
Most people use a combination of different ways to communicate
- We all use multiple ways to communicate, such as speech, body language, email, gestures, facial expressions.
- Waving to someone across a noisy room may be more effective than talking
- “Successful communication strikes a balance of being: effective, most efficient, and socially appropriate” (Tabi Jones Wohleber)