Communication can be thought of as the ability to express a variety of messages, with a variety of people, in a variety of situations.  It is the key to success in life. Dive deeper into these topics:

  • Routine-Based Learning

  • Hand-Under-Hand

  • Experience Books

  • The Role of Peers

Routine-Based Learning

Students with complex and diverse communication needs benefit from routines that are meaningful and consistent. With practice, using the same routines, students will show us what they can do. Creating predictable routines gives students more “say” in the matter, thereby empowering them, whether or not they are able to physically complete the entire routine themselves. Empowerment, self-advocacy and self-determination are all key factors in effective and meaningful communication development.


The use of hand-under-hand (HUH) is a wonderful way to encourage students to display independence and have control over their own hands (or other body parts like feet). This autonomy when used for mutually exploring things together and eventually for tactile signing allows students to move at their own pace and in their own way, all the while knowing someone is there participating with them. Eventually this can lead to tactile communication.

Experience Books

See examples of personalized books created for the purpose of enjoyable reading and shared communication. As concepts and vocabulary grow, more language can be added. More opportunities to communicate with peers and family.

The Role of Peers

Communication skills play a key role in students connecting with peers.  It is imperative that students have opportunities to communicate and grow with their counterparts to build confidence, autonomy, and friendships.