Aug 12, 2014

Setting Up an Autism Classroom On a Budget Series (Part 4 of 5)


Communication is a huge deal in a classroom for students with autism. The goal is always to increase the student's ability to express and receive a message. There are some ways to do this without spending a lot of money. To start with, a person can print picture icons in black and white, instead of color, to save on ink. Next, they can try using an internet search to find images for communication tools. They just need to be sure that it is a clear picture of just the item and it does not have anything in the background. Another option is to take your own photo of the item in question.  Additionally, teachers can save loads of money by using the real object as a communication tool or by using a cut out of the actual package of the product. The cut out can be laminated or placed in a zippered baggie and exchanged back and forth for students who may be non-verbal or who may use limited speech.

To increase communication in students with limited speech, teachers can use pocket photo albums as communication books. They are found at most dollar stores, they are lightweight, and they can have picture cards inserted and removed easily. Schedules, which are needed in many autism classrooms, can be made using card stock paper or file folders. Finally, communication costs can be lowered by the teacher bringing in real items from home when teaching concepts in a specific lesson. This has an added benefit of providing a hands-on experience for the students. I have a few communication building products in my TpT Store.  

The first is a set of communication supports for opening circle time.  They will help to build language and also help some students to understand by seeing the pictures. 

The second set is meant to help students self-advocate by making choices. The Choice board can be found here

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