Sharing Books with Children with Communication Difficulties
Lots of children and adults can have difficulty communicating. This may be due to additional support needs, such as Autism, or English not being the first language. The books you choose to share with children will depend on their individual needs. Simple books with very bright, clear pictures may work best for some children, while touchy-feely books with lots of different textures may be the best choice for others. The most important thing is that you and the child are having fun reading together!
There are also some resources that can help to make books more accessible to children with communication difficulties. Resources such as symbol sheets let children point to pictures and share their responses to a book. Audio recordings and digital copies of books can also make them more accessible.
CALL Scotland Resources
CALL Scotland have created a fantastic pack of resources to accompany the books in the Bookbug Explorer Bag. The resources can be used with children with additional support needs, communication difficulties and with English as an Additional Language. The symbol resources include Go Talk 9+ overlays (for recorded speech output) or can simply be printed out and used as low-tech symbol boards which the child can point to as they talk about each story. Click here to access the Bookbug Explorer resources.
There are also communication devices that can be used for repetitive phrases in the story, also designed for those with complex communication support needs. Vocabulary sheets to go with each board are provided to help parents and those working with children record and use the appropriate vocabulary for each story.
CALL Scotland have also provided symbol sheets to help pupils with communication difficulties enjoy the shortlisted books for The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2017 and take part in classroom activities. Click here to access these resources. You can see these resources in action and get ideas on how they can be used in this video, filmed at Braidburn School in Edinburgh.