Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Object Symbols for Preschool Student

two cards with tactile objects representing two activities
I have a student coming to PPCD (Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities) starting Monday. The OT, PT, and myself got together and created a document of what symbol we wanted to use for each of the centers in the classroom and positional changes for the student. This student is in a wheelchair and positioning is vital for him, so we felt that the document with positions listed was vital to help the teacher in her planning for the student. After we created the document, we shared the information with the teacher and the speech teacher (actually several speech teachers as it was unclear who the student would have). We wanted these to be in place from day one, minute one. 

Materials: 

three cards with objects representing the activities         three cards with objects representing the activities      three cards with objects representing the activities       three cards with objects representing the activities        three cards with objects representing the activities          three cards with objects representing the activities        three cards with objects representing the activities        three cards with objects representing the activities

We color coded the document to help the teacher know which symbols are activity, place, and people. Each of the service providers gave me information on what they wanted to use for their symbol...keeping in mind what would make sense to the student. We chose to take the 'dramatic play' center off his schedule and use the Little Room in it's place. Everyone on the team agreed. 
a document listing the activity, the symbol that represents it on a schedule, the position the student should be in, and any additional comments

Procedure: 

I took several of the cards to the child's home, as I have been working with him for 2 years in the ECI program. He was able to explore a symbol and then I'd do the activity with him. When the alarm on my phone went off ten minutes later, he learned that the activity was finished and we'd move on to the "next center". Once the OT came out with me and we used her symbol. Her coming out with me helped him to become more familiar with her (they'd already met at his play-based assessment) and helped the parent become more comfortable with knowing her son would be in good hands.
 

Collage of object symbols for preschool students

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