What are Symbols?

Symbol-based communication is often used by individuals who are unable to communicate using speech alone and who have not yet developed, or have difficulty developing literacy skills. Symbols offer a visual representation of a word or idea.

How can students benefit from symbol-based communication?

Students who are provided authentic and meaningful opportunities to communicate using a symbol-based system across learning and living environments benefit in a multitude of ways including:

  • development of language skills
  • development of literacy skills
  • having more to say to more people
  • building relationships and connectedness and belonging
  • decreasing frustration/behaviours
  • developing a better understanding of the world around them
  • making personally meaningful requests, choices and decisions
  • increasing participation across environments
  • building creativity and self-expression

Please see our booklet with symbols. All the symbols are available to dowload and print.