Communi-Bands- yes/no wristbands
My son is classified as having severe speech disorder. This sounds awful doesn't it? In actual fact although he cannot talk he is very communicative. He communicates in lots of subtle ways which his family and close friends understand but which are not so obvious to other people.
For your child to start to become an effective communicator even if they cannot talk or are difficult to understand, a key skill is a reliable, clear and low-tech method of communicating "yes" and "no". Once your child achieves this then the whole world opens out! You can ask them an infinite amount of questions about an infinite number of things - exciting or what? Admittedly it doesn't help much with expressive language, but it's a great start. It's what is termed a "low-tech" method of communication (doesn't need batteries).
My son has a diagnosis of severe athetoid quadriplegic cerebral palsy and does not have sufficient arm/hand control to sign and he struggles with a nod or shake of the head due to his fluctuating tone. We established his yes/no response by him lifting, tapping or waving one hand for "yes" (his stronger left hand) and the other for "no" (his right hand). To make it clear to him, to us and especially to others unfamiliar with his methods of communication he had a green wristband for "yes" and a red one for "no".
As it seemed such a good idea I decided to have some made with a tick to signify "yes" and a cross to signify "no". They also have the words in lower case letters. The design is embroidered to help children with visual impairments or colour-blindness issues.
As some Speech & Language Therapy departments use yellow for "yes", alternative yellow wristbands are also available - please choose your colour option at the checkout.
The wristbands are brilliant!
- they are 100% cotton and machine washable,
- they keep hands warm in the winter,
- they can be used to wipe sweat or dribble away,
- they can help to teach left and right and to read "yes" and "no",
- they are very comfortable to wear,
- they are chewable,
- and best of all they look cool!
Please feel free to download my "Using Communi-Bands: Useful Tips" fact sheet to help you get started, including yes/no symbols to print out and use.
Green/Red Communi-Bands Factsheet
Disclaimer: I am not a qualified therapist. The advice and information given above is based purely on my own experiences as a parent.