Communication Binder Make sure to print out your free Communication Binder checklist to help you make your own Communication Binder at home or for your students.
What is a communication binder?
A Communication Binder is a powerful, communication building, visual tool that is used to help teach individuals on the autism spectrum learn to make independent requests.
It consists of a binder filled with laminated pages and small photos. Each photo represents one item that your child or student wants to ask for. Some examples? Foods (chips, cheese, crackers), books, toys or anything else your child loves.
Who is it for?
The binder is a valuable tool for any child, and particularly an individual with special needs. In this post, I am talking specifically about how it useful when used with a child with autism.
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Why you should be using one (main benefits)
A Communication Binder is a type of visual support. Visual Support has been proven to help individuals with autism process and understand verbal information.
How to make a Communication Binder – Step by Step
- Step 1 – Print out the free checklist to make sure you don’t miss any steps when assembling your binder.
- Step 2 – Select & gather materials.
- Step 3 – Take a photo of each item.
- Step 4 – Prepare the photos (print your chosen size, laminate and cut out).
- Step 5 – Assemble the binder.
Below is a list of questions I get asked frequently, followed by my answers :
- Is a Communication Binder valuable for an individual who is speaking already?
- What size should my binder be?
- What size should my photos be?
- Why should I use real photos in my binder?
- When should I use my binder?
My child is already speaking! Is adding a Communication Binder valuable?
Yes! Difficulty with verbal comprehension and verbal communication is central to an autism diagnosis. Providing additional visual support for your child or students will always be helpful when increasing communication skills and decreasing frustration and consequent difficult behaviors.
What size should my Communication Binder be?
It is up to you. I typically use an A4 binder when making these binders.
How large should the photos be in my Communication Binder?
This will depend on your child’s current level of attention and comprehension and if he has any sight problems.
As a general rule, when I print out photos I print using the format of 9 photos per page.
Why do you make your Communication Binders with real photos from than pictograms?
I recommend using real photos for visual support rather than drawings or other types of images, such as pictograms, because they are more concrete and less abstract, making them easier for individuals on the spectrum to understand. Basically, using a more abstract image adds another layer of difficulty to comprehension for your child.
Also, if you are using real photos, you can take photos of the actual items your child wants to ask for (such as his actual favorite toys or the brand of chips he loves), rather than relying on a generic image that is representative of all toys or all chips.
When should I use a Communication Binder?
Any time your child needs support to communicate (basically, all the time). You can use your binder during table sessions at home, during other therapy sessions, outdoors during every day activities and during extra-curricular activities.
Download your free printable : your Communication Binder checklist
I’ve put together a free printable Communication Binder checklist to help your create your own binder. Follow the easy steps to create a binder and start using it with your little learner right away. Increase communication skills and decrease frustration, and the difficult behaviors that occur as result, right away.
This is how you can get it now :
- Download the free printable checklist here.
- Print out the 5 page freebie PDF.
- Use the printable to create your own binder to use with your child or students.
- Refer to the printable as you go through the steps of creating a binder and to plan out the photos you need to take.
- How to Make a Communication Binder Guide & Workbook – Get the complete guide to understand exactly how to make an adapted Communication Binder for your child or students as well as a workbook to help you track your child’s progress.
- Autism Activities Workbook Bundle – this bundle of 50+ adapted autism activities will help you build communication, fine motor, sensory play and life skills with your learner on the spectrum. As a bonus, you will also receive a guide to setting up a home program.
- Join the Autism Activities Membership – You will receive printable, monthly activities to engage your child while increasing communication skills, fine motor skills, sensory play skills, imitation skills and more.
- Free Autism Resources
- Printable Visual Aids
- Functional Activities for Kids with Autism
- Pointing Book
- Autism Worksheets
How to Make a Communication Binder
Do you have any questions or tips to add? Do you currently use a this type of visual communication system at home?
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