Need a Low Tech Way to Teach Simple Communication? Make A Gesture Book!

Need a Low Tech Way to Teach Simple Communication? Make A Gesture Book!

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You’ve heard the expression, “Necessity is the mother of Invention”.  That’s exactly what happened here when I needed SOMETHING to help my student who was non-verbal.

He used a voice output device, but as much as I love and respect the powerful role these devices play in providing a communication system for children and adults, there are limitations. 

They must always be handy and it does take a few moments to activate.

There are only two things faster.

Talking and gesturing.

Since talking wasn’t an option, gesturing was my only other choice.  I realized that my student didn’t know some very common gestures that we all use.  I decided to teach him these gestures by using a gesture book.

Take a look!

I remember when I worked at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and someone in the community asked me this question, “How do you say ‘hi’ in sign language?” I could have finger spelled it of course, but I decided this was one of those moments when you just use the gesture everyone else does.  I waived.  I know this person was expecting something more elaborate than that, but she said to me, “oh, of course!”

Why make things harder than we have to? Too often I have found that our students don’t know how to communicate the simplest things.  Don’t overlook the simple communication elements that are common to all of us! 

Happy gesturing!

Take care and I’ll see you next time!


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