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TVI and Speech Therapist Collaborate to Make Tactile Book

A teacher of the visually impaired describes the collaboration with the speech therapist to promote language and concept development, along with positional concepts, for a braille student with additional disabilities.

Starting with a Book about Positional Concepts

Recently I had the idea to make a position book for a student learning braille. My thought was to focus on the positional terms under/over. I made the book with tactile objects (flower, dominoes, hand sticker, “blanket”, shapes, starfish, “cracker”, and button). I punched a hole in a butterfly and tied a string to it. My thought was to use the butterfly to put either under/over depending on what the word card stated. Velcro was placed on the bottom of the page so that the words could be changed out.

Tactile flower with
Tactile flower with “under” written in print and braille
Student placing butterfly on string on the page
Student placing butterfly on string on the page with “under” in braille at bottom of page
A circle and square with braille/print word card
A circle and square with braille/print word card “over”
Student reading braille word
Student reading braille word on page with circle and square

Expanding Tactile Book to Work on Left/Right

I shared it with the student’s Speech Therapist and she made the book even better!  The student is also working on left/right in her life skills classroom.  We added Velcro pieces around each of the images to help guide her in putting the butterfly over/under or left/right. But did we stop there? No!

Cloth flap covering page with
Cloth flap covering page with “left” on braille/print word card at bottom of page
Flap flipped up with
Flap flipped up with “left” on word card in print and braille
Starfish with
Starfish with “right” in print and braille
Student examines starfish on page of book
Student examines starfish on page of book

Adding a Script to Promote Language Development and Consistency

There are several people that work with this same student all day long and over the period of a week. We will not be the only ones using the book. The question became how to have the book used in the way it was intended, which is to work on these concepts while encouraging her language development.

Again, the Speech Therapist came up with an amazing idea…a script! A script has been written for each page with additional questions to extend the object exploration while encouraging her language.

Script for Starfish
Script for Starfish

Starfish (Script)

Ask object related WH- questions (i.e. who, what, where, etc.)

  • How many points do you feel?
  • What is it?  Where does this object live?
  • Does it feel bumpy or smooth?
  1. Say “put the butterfly over the starfish”.
  2. Say “put the butterfly under the starfish”.
  3. Say “put the butterfly to the left of the starfish”.
  4. Say “put the butterfly to the right of the starfish”.

While I was proud of myself for creating an interactive book for my student to work on the concepts that we’ve been working on in our co-treat sessions, the collaboration that took place was priceless! What started off as a simple concept development book with vocabulary word practice expanded into something that is so much more than my original idea.

This is the power of collaboration!

Collage of collaboration between TVI and Speech Therapist

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