On Thursday 24th November, the Winslow Court Speech and Language Therapy team held a ‘Communication Coffee morning’ to highlight communication strategies such as signing and using photo/symbol support, to enhance residents’ ability to make choices and use a greater range of communication skills.
The team created symbol/photo choice boards: the choice to make a request through pointing at a single photo or to extend this request into a phrase e.g. “I want + chocolate + cake”; “I like + cake”; “I want + more”. One of our residents, who does not use speech, ate a marshmallow and pointed to the symbol for ‘like’ to comment that he liked it! Another resident, who would normally just use a single word, pointed to 3 symbols in a row to say “I want cake”. We also had a nice moment when one resident pointed at the photo of the cake he wanted but when given it, he pushed it away and then pointed at a different photo; when asked “you want this one instead?”… he then signed for “yes”.
We also put all useful signs on the wall behind the table (with cakes and drinks on), so everyone could practise their signing… this worked well and all staff tried their best to attempt to sign all morning. Lots of questions were asked e.g. how do you sign different? What’s the sign for green?; so we hope we taught everyone some new signs as well as refreshing some common ones.
We also set up a table with examples of visual supports that could be used within our residents’ homes and got some nice feedback about how they could be used.
Thanks everyone for a successful morning – we hope to do it again in the New Year! Remember – communication matters.
For more information about Speech and Language Therapy click here