Month: May 2015


One of the most important functions of any communication book is giving the individual a means to express they need Help. That is actually what initially gave me the idea for this project: when a nurse asked my grandpa if he needed help with his medication he could not say he did or properly nod his head yes. This section also provides a means for the person to identify what part of their body is in pain, a scale to tell how much pain they are in, and phrases they may need to communicate quickly such as “Take me to the ER.”

Here is a great resource for helping AAC learners communicate about illness or injury:

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This is the last section of my grandpa’s communication book and therefore the end of this blogging journey. I hope that my posts have given you some ideas of where to start and how to go about creating a communication book for your loved one or client.

The most important things to remember are:

1. Involve the individual for whom the book is for as much as possible. After all, this book is going to serve as his/her voice.

2. Don’t be afraid of not doing it “right” that it keeps you from doing it all. There is no right or wrong way…just start gluing some pictures!

3. It’s an evolving process that is going to change as the needs/wants of the individual changes.

4. Don’t just include what you would want in the book.

5. Pictures and photographs, as opposed to words, are the way to go.

Giving back the power of communication is truly the best gift you could give someone. I would love to see and hear about your experience creating a communication book. If you need any encouragement along the way, feel free to contact me 🙂


How are you?

One of the sessions I was able to get in with my grandpa before he passed away included going through different emotions and him telling me whether he wanted it included in his book. I tried to make it as clear as possible that although he may feel a myriad of different emotions, we only wanted to include emotions he would commonly feel or need to express to others. I didn’t want his communication book to be full of pictures he wouldn’t use because this would just create more pages for him to flip through – conciseness was a goal.

In the end, he settled on 16 emotions that ranged from “excited” to “worried.” Feelings is important to include in an adult communication book because nothing could be more frustrating than for someone who can’t express how they feel.

When going through the process of having the individual choose which emotions to include in their book, I suggest printing out pictures of a person expressing that emotion (these can easily be found online). Since emotion is an abstract concept, it will be easier for the person to identify the emotion from a picture rather than a verbal or written presentation.

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