Finding the right method of visual communication.



I know you're keen to support someone with their anxieties, communication or behaviour - that's why you're here, right? Well, it helps to have a little bit of understanding about communication. That way you can establish exactly what it is the person you are caring for needs, and how you can best support them.

October is AAC Awareness Month. AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. It refers to the many methods of communication that someone can use, other than speech, such as:

 Sign language
 Speech generating devices

This gives everyone the tools to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs.

When a customer comes to me and asks me where to start with visuals, I always ask; "What do you need them for - to tell someone what is happening, or to give them a voice?”

The first is receptive communication and the second is expressive communication? Here’s the difference…



Expressive Communication

Expressive Communication is the ability to communicate with someone else. By supporting expressive communication, you are giving someone a voice.

I'll admit I don't have many resources on the website for this, because ultimately what the user needs is the visual symbol itself. They need access to these all of the time. You would hate it if someone took away your voice, so don't take away theirs.

Our Conversation Chart is one great way to encourage expressive communication though. It's a conversation starter, helping someone to tell you about their day which will help lower any frustration of not being able to communicate. 



Receptive Communication

Receptive Communication is the process of receiving and understanding a message. That is the ability to understand something that is being communicated to you.

This is why I have created a whole range of routine charts and visual timetables. These help you to communicate to someone else what is happening using visual symbols. We have a wide range of routine charts on our website, from resources that show someone what is happening in the next hour, to what is happening across the whole month. You can see them all here.

Children tend to understand more than they say so receptive communication is usually ahead of expressive communication in development.



Here at HQ

Here at Create Visual Aids, we are constantly growing our range of symbols to support both receptive and expressive communication. Hopefully this blog has helped you understand a little more about how you want to support the person you care for. As always, if you need some help finding the right communication resources for the person you care for please get in touch. 


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