Additional Resources - Prelinguistic Communication

by National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness on May 1, 2006
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the DB-LINK Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

2004-0607 First Things First : Early Communication for the Pre-Symbolic Child with Severe Disabilities --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Oregon Health & Science University. (2004) This book describes instructional strategies for teaching early communication skills to children with severe disabilities who are not yet ready to use symbols to communicate. It includes an explanation of pre-symbolic communication, an overview of pre-symbolic instruction, and information about how to assess a child's current communication skills and determine a child's preferences. It provides strategies for teaching children how to use pre-symbolic behaviors such as gestures, facial expressions, vocalizations, and switches to gain attention, to request more, and to communicate choices (choice-making). Cost: $43.00. Available from OHSU Design to Learn Products: Phone: 888-909-4030, ext. 108. E-mail: Publisher's web site:

2000-0469 Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction : A Guide to Early Communication with Young Children Who Have Multiple Disabilities --Klein, M. Diane, Ph.D.; Chen, Deborah, Ph.D.; Haney, Michele, Ph.D. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. (2000) The Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction (PLAI) curriculum is designed primarily for infants, preschoolers, and young children with severe or multiple disabilities (including deaf-blindness) who are not yet initiating symbolic communication and who have a limited repertoire of communicative behavior. It can also be used with older children who have not yet developed intentional communication. The curriculum consists of a Caregiver Interview to identify a child's current communication abilities and 5 modules: 1) Understanding Your Child's Cues; 2) Identifying Your Child's Preferences; 3) Establishing Predictable Routines; 4) Establishing Turn Taking; and 5) Encouraging Communicative Initiations. The curriculum also contains handouts and recording sheets in both English and Spanish. A video (Promoting Learning Through Active Interaction: An Instructional Video) is also available in English and Spanish.

2006-0120 Building Literacy for Students at the Presymbolic and early Symbolic Levels --Downing, June E. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Teaching Language Arts, Math, and Science to Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities, Diane M. Browder and Fred Spooner (Eds.) (2006) This book chapter looks at literacy from a broad perspective as "ways of learning about and sharing information with others," a view that includes learners of all ability levels. It addresses recommended approaches for introducing literacy activities to students with significant disabilities who may just be beginning to learn about the use of symbols. Topics addressed include life experiences as a basis for literacy, the link between communication and literacy, augmentative communication systems, the importance of high expectations for literacy, making literacy accessible (adapting materials, following a student's interests, offering choices, identifying preferences), making use of natural opportunities for literacy instruction, creating meaningful literacy opportunities, the use of specific instructional strategies, prompt fading procedures, measuring effectiveness, data collection, and the use of a team approach. Publisher's web site:

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