Words like I and eat are easy to represent in visuals, but sometimes there are words like the, have, and, on, want that are incredibly hard to show in a visual context. If it’s hard for even us to understand, imagine how hard it is for our children with Autism to grasp. Well these simple words are known as core vocabulary, which is a small set of simple words that are used frequently and across contexts (Cross, Baker, Klotz & Badman, 1997).
Without the appropriate type of visuals to learn from, the meaning of these words might get lost when they actually help in forming complete sentences and natural flow within language. Data suggests that children with disabilities build early language three-word phrases with core vocabulary (Baker, Hill & Devylder, 2000).
So it’s extremely important to have the right tools to nurture your child’s language development in the right ways. Thus, CommunicoTool developed a core vocabulary feature on top of their pre-existing 6 part module. It contains 15 base words where you can also customize by importing your own pictures into the app. These words will include:
“thank you, help, listen, cold, hot, sad, happy, angry, eat, want, I, she, he, not drink”
This small set of words is a good starting point as it has the most commonly used words spoken by children. After some time with these words, you can also slowly introduce other important core vocabulary that does not overwhelm your child.
Once introduced it is important to find ways to get your child to interact with the words versus just explaining the meanings of the words. This helps build familiarity for your child to understand when and where to use core vocabulary.
Then as they become familiar with these base words, more and more words can be integrated in. Your child will be an all star in no time with consistent routine and exposure using these core vocabulary. Slow and steady wins the race, so remember that patience is key so your little one can be the most successful they can be!
CommunicoTool 2 is a language and application tool for non-verbal and children with Autism. The updated app has 8 different modules including the Communication, Communication +, Sequences, Doloris, Feelings, Timer, Core Vocabulary and Schedule Beta. Personal pictures can also be uploaded to personalize the app to each family’s personal life.
Download and get a 1-month free trial period