At Linwood School, we believe that an individual’s social learning environment should facilitate and encourage the use of Total Communication.
Total Communication refers to the use of all forms of communication in one environment. It is the complementary use of speech, signs and symbols to enable people with learning difficulties to understand and express themselves to their maximum potential. Every form of communication of which a person is capable is used. No form of communication is excluded.
Total Communication can involve:
- getting the physical environment right (eg. background noise and lighting)
- clear and simple speech to help people focus on key words
- a communication environment that uses gesture, facial expression, body language and signing
- the use of pictures, photographs, symbols and objects as well as written words
- the use of sensory cues (eg. touch and smell)
- opportunities to communicate
- appropriate integration (eg. level and pace)
- vocalisation, intonation and verbalisation
- access to modern technology
Linwood has several eyegaze devices around the school which allow the child to control the computer using their eyes. This piece of technology is ideal for pupils with impaired motor skills who are unable to operate a touch screen or switch system.
We also use iPads to assist with communication. A common text/image to speech app some our pupils use is Proloquo2go. This is used in conjunction with other Total Communication approaches to develop speech and communication.