Functional Communication

Total Communication Environment

The SaLT team at Queensmill work with the whole staff team to provide a total communication environment. Total communication is a holistic view of communication. It is a way of thinking about how people communicate and how to find the best communication method for the child. It uses a range of communication methods, including:

  1. Speech
  2. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  3. Visuals, pictures and photographs: visual cues are used in a multitude of ways to help understanding and expression
  4. Objects of reference: these are objects that have a special meaning to the child. They are useful for children who cannot yet understand pictures or symbols. They can help that child to understand what is being discussed or to anticipate an event or activity, eg: presenting a cup and then following it by giving a drink.
  5. Symbols: these are used throughout the school to aid communication and literacy as appropriate.
  6. Signing systems: the signing system used at Queensmill is Sign-Along.
  7. Gestures: pointing, facial expressions, etc.
  8. Intensive Interaction: this involves quality 1:1 time between the teacher and the child. It focuses on the fundamental principles of communication.

This list covers many aspects of communication teaching at Queensmill. By using a combination of strategies in a flexible way to meet individual needs, we aim to give our pupils constant opportunities to understand what is said to them and for them to be able to communicate their needs, wants, thoughts, ideas and feelings.