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Personal Dictionary
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Log of Communicative Intent

The following dictionary was developed based on the guidlines provided by PISP, using my daughter's methods of communication.  I've provided it here to show that almost anything your child does can be considered as communication.  This "dictionary" is very helpful when my daughter is being cared for by people who do not know her well. Again, it is only provided as a starting point in developing a dictionary for your child.

Behaviour Observed
"This is what I do"
Intent/what it means
"This is what I’m trying to tell you"
How to respond
What you can say and/or do:
1. Identify behaviour
2. Interpret behaviour
3. Respond

Vocalizations:

Please note: almost all of _____'s vocalizations mean something specific. You need to use clues from what’s happening around her to find out what she’s wanting to communica

1. Yelling, grunting, whimpering 1a. in morning: wants to go in stander 1. I hear you whimpering/yelling, etc.
2. I think that you want to go into your stander
3. I’ll go and get it for you
b. after being in chair/stander awhile 1b. uncomfortable/needs position change 1. I hear you yelling/grunting etc
2. I think that you would like to sit in your chair/lie down.
3. I’ll go get your chair/sidelyer
c. in chair or stander without tray 1c. wants her tray on 1. I hear you yelling/grunting
2. I think you want your tray on.
3. I’ll get it for you
d. tray on-no toy 1d. wants a toy, or a different toy 1. I hear you yelling/grunting, etc.
2. I think you would like a toy or a different toy
3. How about this toy?
e. noone around 1e. wants to be with other people 1. I hear you......
2. I think that you don’t want to be by yourself
3. Come over here with......
2. Whimpering 2. Brace is bothering her. 1. I hear you whimpering _____
2. I think that you want your brace loosened
3. Here, I’ll undo your straps a bit
3. Crying 3. Extreme pain or scared 1. I can hear you crying ______
2. I can tell that you are scared/in pain
3. Let’s do ____ to make it better.
4. Half laughing, half crying 4. afraid/worried 1. I hear you half laughing, half crying
2. I can tell that you miss ____ or are scared of ____
3. You’re ok. ______is here (or I’ll call mommy)
5. General vocalizations in response to something (person entering area, hearing a noise) 5. Look at that, Hi I’m here I. I hear you _____
2. Hi, ____ is here,
3.You heard that didn’t you ______
6. Single vocalization 6. Calling attention to something (could mean story/video is over, toy has fallen, where are you?) 1. I hear you _____
2. You want a new story/video
3. I’ll put _____on for you.
Eye Movement
1. Eyes moving rapidly, head still/listening
1. Recognizes sound 1. I see your eyes moving.
2. I can tell that you recognize ____
3. Let’s listen to____ or do _____again
2. Eyes suddenly stop moving when she hears a word, voice, story or song 2. Recognition/curious 1. I notice your eyes are still
2. I can tell that you are listening, that is ____
3. Let’s do ______some more
3. Kept up or down, fixated 3. I’m bored. I’ll be back in a minute 1. I can see that your eyes are stuck
2. I can see that you’re bored
3. Let’s do ___________
4. Fixed to far right 4. Stretching, muscle spasm 1. I notice that you’re eyes are over to the side
2. I think that you’re having a stretch
3. OK, lets do ______(current activity) some mor
5. Appears to look down 5. My hands feel something 1. I see you’re looking down.
2. I see that you feel something. That is ____
3. Let’s touch it again.
Smiling
1. Smiling in response to a question
1. Yes 1. I see you’re smiling
2. You’re saying yes you want____
3. Let’s do/get that
2. Upper lip raised on 1 side 2. I’m listening, you have my attention 1. I notice your lip raised
2. I can tell that you are listening.
3. Here’s what we are going to do now
3. Full ear to ear grin 3. Excited about a person/place/thing 1. I see that huge smile.
2. I think that you’re excited about_____
3. Let’s go do that some more.
4. Big smile with giggles 4. Pleasing noise, or overtired 1. I hear you giggling and see that big smile
2. I think that you like that sound, I think that you’re tired
3. Let’s hear that sound again, or Let’s change your position/give you a rest
Arm movement:
1. Arms fly up when moved
1. Pain or startle 1. I see your arms fly up
2. I can tell that that hurt, ouch, or surprised you
3. I’ll move you slowly
2. Arms fly up when she hears a sudden noise
(occasional extreme reaction: breathing becomes laboured, she remains tense-usually she can be talked out of it.)
2. Surprise or startle 1. I see your arms fly up
2. I think that____surprised you. That is____
3. Let’s explore the noise that you heard
3. Arms fly up when in new equipment or strange place. 3. Worry 1. I see your arms flying up
2. I can tell that you are worried about ___It’s ok
3. You are in a new______
4. Poking at or scratching arms 4. discomfort/upsest 1. I see you poking at your arms
2. I can see that you are upset
3. Let’s lie you down/sit you up/have a cuddle/call mom, etc
 

 

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