The use of a visual communication board with a child with SM

In a previous session with a psychologist we conducted a play session with core language board. I demonstrated use of the board to make comments, ask questions and make requests during play with bubbles, balloons, an adapted story, nursery rhymes and jenga. I used this with a variety of other strategies to reduce the pressure to speak such as: Using "i wonder.." phrases; providing visual choices and letting the child know that it was ok that they didnt use their words. The child responded to questions from us using the core board and approximately 1-5 word verbal phrases involving nouns, verbs, adjectives at a normal volume. This was the first time she had spoken to both of us. The child responded well to “I wonder...” questions with a variety of responses – she requested a song at the end of the session with this strategy and initiated communication using animal noises. The child demonstrated movement between stage 0 to stage 2b of the selective mutism social communication anxiety scale using the strategies above. I will be continuing to use core boards and visual language aids with this child to support understanding and expression of language as well as reducing the pressure to speak.

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