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    Total Communication

    Total Communication Environment

    At Kensington Queensmill the SaLT team work with the whole staff team to implement a Total Communication Approach. This is a holistic view of communication with a focus on finding and using the right combination of communication methods for each student.

    By using a combination of strategies in a flexible way to meet individual needs, we aim to give our pupils constant opportunities to form connections, ensure successful interactions and support information exchanges and conversations.
    This involves using a combination of communication methods, which best support each student, including:
    1. Speech
    2. Visuals, pictures and photographs: visuals cues are used in a multitude of ways to help understanding an
    3. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
    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.

    AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a range of strategies and tools to help students communicate who struggle with their speech and language skills. These tools may be simple letter or picture boards or sophisticated computer-based systems. AAC helps students to communicate as effectively as possible, in as many situations as possible.

    Each student at Kensington Queensmill will be assessed to find an AAC device or system which suits them. Some may have multiple AAC systems such as, PECS, visual support and Makaton.
    Speech and Language Therapists will recommend the most appropriate AAC systems; the therapists will then work with the student to create a device which suits them. The therapist will train the AAC user and communication partners on how best to use the communication aid.

    At Kensington Queensmill we use a wide range of AAC systems and devices which support a student’s communication, including, but not limited to:

    Low Tech Based Systems High Tech Based Systems
    • Communication Books
    • Core boards
    • Choosing boards
    • Life books/scrapbooking
    • PECS
    • Talking Mats
    • Makaton
    • Objects of reference
    • Comment /chat / communication boards
    • Communication Passports
    • Key rings and Lanyards
    • Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA)
    • Proloquo2go
    • PECS
    • Switches (single message, Multi-modal messages)