SWEDESBORO — The Margaret Clifford School’s (MCS) playground recently became more inclusive by installing communication boards for students who struggle with language.
These boards help students express their needs to peers and teachers by pointing to images. Images such as “Go,” “Your turn,” “I want slide,” and “Stop,” represent choices that can be used to play on and around the playground equipment. For nonverbal students, having these communication boards both inside and outside of the classroom can help promote inclusion at school.
Recess is a prime opportunity to work on social skills so having these communication boards will encourage socialization on the playground. Communication boards allow students who are nonverbal or limitedly verbal to point at the board to communicate their wants, needs, and actions. Additionally, since the pictures are universally understood, it gives our verbal students a way to supplement their speech while talking to our verbal language learners.
MCS Speech-language pathologist (SLP) Robin Baker saw the need of expanding language on the playground for the students and created the communication boards. “Our kids learn best while actively engaged. What better way to facilitate language than while playing on the playground?”