Examples of symbol users
A young child from Latvia
Maija arrived at a nursery aged 4 from Latvia. She didn’t understand any English, and coming from a different culture, she was completely lost as to what to do and what was expected of her. The nursery started by making flash cards for common words with the symbols for her, and adding the English and Latvian text for her parents. Using these cards, Maija now understands what to do and is starting to become part of the group. These vocabulary cards helped the whole family, not just the child in the nursery.
A non-verbal adult
Sacha is non-verbal and needs to use symbols to communicate with friends and family. His mother writes: “We use the program to produce and update a letter board and his communication book with pages for questions, conversation and communicating needs. Sacha also has a day board in his room, where we use symbols to show him his timetable for the day. This includes ‘when’ ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’, the date and weather. The symbols and software are invaluable to my son.”
A patient with communication difficulties
Matthew needs to go to hospital from time to time. He finds it a very stressful experience because he can’t communicate with the nursing staff and can be really difficult to manage. They recently started to use symbol cards to explain what was going to happen to him. Seeing symbols for each of the different parts of the process made a tremendous difference. He became calm and, for example, will now voluntarily hold out his arm for the ‘magic cream’ before a blood test.