Gurney Preschool’s New Communication Board Helps Students Better Communicate with Each Other on the Playground

The Gurney Preschool has a new communication board on their playground.  The board, created by Speech Language Pathologist Megan Hauser, helps students with language delays to develop their communication skills and to interact with the people around them by using symbols and images to express their wants and needs.

“The communication board gives our teachers and students a tool to pair spoken language with visuals so that those who may have delays in expressive and receptive language have a way of connecting words with ideas,” said Hauser.

The board is customized to meet the needs of our preschool during their outdoor learning experiences.  Children use the board by pointing to a picture or symbol that expresses what they need or would like to say.  For example, a student can ask a friend to play by pointing to the picture of “play” on the board.  A student can also ask a friend to join a specific activity by pointing to the picture of the “mud kitchen” or “sand table.”  The board also helps students who struggle to understand spoken language.  Images that show emotions can be used to help children express their feelings.  Other images help students answer simple yes or no questions.

Using a communication board can ease the difficulty of communicating with people who have language limitations, but it also helps develop positive social interactions.  Students who would normally not interact with others because they might not yet have the spoken vocabulary now have a way to ask questions or invite a friend to play by pointing to the board and using the symbols to show what they want. 

“It has been great to see the kids using the board and making connections with other kids,” said Assistant Principal Sarah Read.  “We are seeing more students interacting with each other and starting to build friendships because they now have a way of communicating with each other in a positive way.  We are excited to see how our students’ language will continue to grow using this amazing tool.”