Strategy 2: Embed the use of objects, symbols or words throughout the child's day
What to do
- Label objects in the child's environment using pictures, words, braille and/or tactile symbols (e.g. bed, sink, coat hook, desk)
- Identify objects and symbols within routines and activities familiar to the child
- Use familiar objects or symbols to create an anticipation calendar or daily calendar
- Draw attention to words and text in the environment during child's daily routines and activities
- Identify the child's preferences and connect them to objects, symbols and words
- Teach child that objects and people exist, have names and have purpose/meaning
- Point out logos, signs, packages in the home, school and in the community
- Look at books, grocery ads, magazines and mail with the child
Things to consider
- Are you looking at things from the child's perspective and selecting objects and symbols that match the child's experience of what you are trying to represent?
- Are you using cues in a consistent manner to help the child anticipate what is going to happen next?
- Have you provided materials in a variety of formats?
- Does the child have a way to actively engage with the materials?
- Have you noticed whether the child appears to have put some meaning to these activities?
- Have you seen the child respond in a consistent manner to objects, symbols and/or words? What is that response?
- Have you thought about how you present a new person, activity or experience as opposed to a familiar one?