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Look2Talk - An Update

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Look2Talk - An Update
Katharine Buckley & Clare Latham
Background to the project
Introduction to Look2Talk
Walk through the stages
On reflection
Talk Together
Background to the Project
Where did we start?
• A Guide to Developing
and Using a
Communication Book
• Stable core vocabulary
that is available whatever
is being talked about
• Recognition that extra
support needed for eyepointing communicators –
not a simple adaptation!
First Attempt (2004)!
• Worked on the eye pointing book on and off for 2 years
• Then the Look2Talk project enabled us to try it out with
six families over an 18 month period
• The project came to an end in April 2008
• Funders: Elsevier Science Ltd, Eranda Foundation,
Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Gatsby Charitable
Foundation, Good Neighbours Trust, John Horniman
Children’s Trust, Kirby Laing Foundation, St James’s
Place Foundation
Project Outcomes
• Guide Book
• DVD with clips of
children and tutorial
• Templates for
• Core and sample
• Sturdy binder
Introduction to Look2Talk
Look2Talk Communication Book
• A five-stage approach to making and using a
communication book
• Core vocabulary is available from every page
• Core vocabulary develops and increases along
developmental lines
• An emphasis on the functional use of language
• Enables achievement at identified speaking and listening
• At each stage there are suggestions on �readiness’, and
aims for both the learner and the communication partner
• A lot of attention is given to communication partner skills
• There is an emphasis on developing use of symbols
through play
Key Themes
• Ideas rather than perfect sentences
Key Themes
• Taking the pressure off
• Acknowledge difficulty of reading eye
pointing – harder for the partner than the
• Value current communication strategies –
this is adding to their existing system
• Importance of the communication partner
• A team approach
Walk through the stages
Stage 1
• �Taking the pressure off’
led us to move away from
using an E-tran frame at
this stage
• Introduction
– Empower the learner’s
eyes within communication
(pause, watch and
– Introduce photographs (for
pleasure rather than
Picture/video of child
Stage 1
• Next steps
– Introduce the
individual symbols
�more’ and �stop’
Picture/video of child
Stage 2
• Introduce communication book with core
vocabulary �more’ and �stop’
• Suggest using either two or four topic
Stage 2
What We Learned
• Encourage all family members to use the
symbols too
• Help the child be in control of activities
• Help the child to physically hold the toys
• Be ready to change activities quickly
• Change positions and allow for �wiggle
• Get the communication book out at
bedtime alongside other story books
What We Learned Cont’d
• Need to think about
how the book is
• May begin by keeping
the book between you
and your learner then
move to side
• Play doesn’t always
take place at a table!
Picture/video of child
Stage 3
Stage 3
• Two new core words – �help’ and �no’
• Introduce page turning within discrete
• Encoding
What We Learned
• Encoding can feel quite
baffling at first
• Note how Milly really
emphasises her eye
pointing to support her
communication partner
• DVD has tutorials on
what is encoding, how to
model encoding, and
introducing the child to
Picture/video of child
What We Learned Cont’d
• Make just one page around a favourite
game or story book and begin by using
this yourself so your learner can see how
encoding works
• We started with two colours
• Its the child’s communication system - if
they aren’t grasping encoding quickly, hold
back on encoding for now so that their
communication remains comfortable
Stage 3 Continued
Stage 3 Continued
• More symbols on the
page and more core
• Introduce a top page
• Tamsin is able to use
her communication
book to share
Picture/video of child
What We Learned
• Re-tell strategy a
useful way of
practising the
• An expectant pause
can be used to
encourage the child to
join in
• Scribbling (see Karen
Erickson’s work re.
emergent writing)
Picture/video of child
Stage 4
Stage 4
Stage Four
• Core vocabulary now fills a whole page,
but some core can be seen from every
topic page
• Core vocabulary includes �question’ and
some early describing words
What We Learned
• Changing role of
communication partner
• Notice how Tamsin’s mum is
beginning to challenge her a
little e.g. what shall we do
about it, would you like to ask
me something, how can you
ask me that
• Also notice that they are just
using the core vocabulary to
support the activity
• Eventually Tamsin does say
�question’ �more’ to ask for
some more
Picture/video of child
What We Learned
• Play may change so that it can tell more of
a story e.g. safari park, doll’s house,
cooking sets, etc.
• With the move to more vocabulary on a
page, the learner needs to be given more
looking time
• Also, as the play becomes more
challenging, more thinking time may be
Stage 5
Stage 5
Stage 5
• Now full range of question words
• Also words for working alongside peers
e.g. idea, fair, etc.
• Bliss type strategies now on every topic
page – combine, part of and opposite to
• We introduced these through games
• 8 blocks of 8 symbols on a page
Stage 5
• Sophie uses her
communication book to
support her homework
• Task: write a story about
someone that had
inspired them
• Mum selected vocab
around the story
• Sophie used it in her own
way to tell a story, adding
in hands and legs
• Mum then reads aloud
Sophie’s story
Picture/video of child
What We Learned
• A dedicated page of verbs felt important at this
• Communication partner’s role different again –
big job holding the conversation together e.g.
Sophie’s mum sometimes wrote it down to avoid
losing thread
• But still a role for pause, watch and respond
• Having a lot of vocabulary on one page does
reduce the number of page turns but it makes it
harder to read the eye-pointing, and �which
colour’ does get asked a bit!
Bridge to Stage 5
Bridge to Stage 5
• Tamsin became ready for some of the
Stage 5 vocabulary but Tamsin and her
family weren’t ready to move on to the
Stage 5 page layouts
• Pros and cons
Changes to the Folder
• As it got fuller things
started to go wrong!
• Easel files are
commercially available,
but are designed to hold
a small number of sheets
of paper
• Fine for getting started
but we found that regular
replacements were
Picture/video of child
New Folder
• Designed to hold more pages, to be more
durable, and to be more sturdy
On reflection
On Reflection
• Taking the pressure off in the early stages is absolutely
• The communication partner’s role needs to develop and
change across the stages
• Families liked seeing all five stages
• All families said felt would have struggled without
demonstrations (DVD)
• Siblings – someone to play with, someone to talk about,
someone easy and fun to talk with, the younger the
• Timing is important e.g. health issues, other life issues
• Must not see it as a failure if symbol communication
doesn’t �take off’ at any given time
Talk Together
Talk Together
• A complementary
vocabulary package
• Full of tips and
suggestions drawn in
part from Look2Talk
Contact Details
Katharine Buckley
01865 759 820
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