Core Vocabulary: Communication Systems for Students with Special Needs

Core Vocabulary: Communication Systems for Students with Special Needs


Core Vocabulary:  Communication systems for students with special needs

What is Core Vocabulary?  It’s a small number of words that make up 70 to 90% of what we say everyday.   Instead of just labeling items that limits vocabulary to nouns, you can give your students a greater ability to communicate using pieces of grammar to actually formulate phrases and sentences.

Communication is power and once a student understands how powerful it is to use phrases and sentences, the quality of life for the student improves dramatically!

Core Vocabulary can fluctuate from person to person depending upon the communication needs.  There is no set list of words, but what is important, is that we get students to begin using a very basic set of words to build a foundation for more.

As a student’s core vocabulary list grows, “fringe vocabulary” can be added.  These are words that are less frequently occurring than core words, but are useful because they are dictated by the student’s interests, hobbies, environment, personal situations and people in their lives.

You can make your own low tech communication board as seen in the video using things like Matrix Maker in Unique Learning Systems and Boardmaker.  In fact if you look on the site, chances are someone has already put together a communication board that you could download using Boardmaker icons.

Other programs that support core vocabulary are:  The Pixon Project, Writing with Symbols, Pix Writer and Proloquo2Go.

Get started with Core Vocabulary with your students and watch the communication grow!   Share this with your families and friends.


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