Total Communication

At Mill Green School, we believe that an individual’s social learning environment should facilitate and promote the use of a Total Communication approach. Our aim is to ensure that all learners at Mill Green have a consistent and coherent approach to meeting their needs throughout their lives and environments, helping to make positive differences in their lives.

Total Communication refers to the use of all forms of communication in one environment. It is the complementary use of speech, signs and symbols to enable people with learning difficulties to understand and express themselves to their maximum potential. Every form of communication of which a person is capable is used. No form of communication is excluded and the strategies used enable young people to have equal opportunities to express their needs, become self-advocates, achieve independence, learn, make friends, be included and express their feelings.

At Mill Green, Total Communication can involve:

  • getting the physical environment right (eg. background noise and lighting)
  • clear and simple speech to help learners focus on key words
  • a communication environment that uses gesture, facial expression, body language and signing
  • the use of symbols and/or PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)
  • Communication profiles and placemats
  • The use of ‘objects of reference’
  • Photographs
  • Ipads – using Proloquo2Go, WidgitGo
  • Signing – BSL and Makaton
  • Eye pointing and E-Tran frame
  • the use of sensory cues (eg. touch and smell)
  • opportunities to communicate
  • appropriate integration (eg. level and pace)
  • vocalisation, intonation and verbalisation
  • access to modern technology
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