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Participation through communication guide

Ylana Bloom & Dolly Bhargava,
Innovative Communication Programming

Although most people working with those with high support needs and complex communication difficulties would accept that everyone can communicate, moving from this stance to develop communication and supports for those in the early stages of communication development can be challenging. The Participation Through Communication Guide, written by two speech pathologists who work with people with high support needs, provides information and strategies to those working with adults or children who are preintentional or early intentional communicators. The aim of the book is to both improve the skills of the communication partners and to encourage the person with preintentional communication skills to be more actively involved in communicative exchanges.

Using augmentative and alternative communication strategies to interact - Ylana Bloom speech pathologist and co-author of Participation Through Communication Guide.

The first part of the book previews the manual as a whole and provides background information about preintentional and early intentional communicative behaviour and the interrelationship between communicator and partner skills and the contexts of communication. It then goes on to provide guidance and a proforma for collecting relevant information about individuals, information on the use of additional cues to support receptive communication, and guidance and a proforma for reflection on the skills of a communication partner. The book covers the planning of communication support and intervention in routine activities (such as mealtimes), individually planned activities and activities that may be initiated by the individual.

For each of these areas, there are guidelines and examples of planning for communication, planning proformas, and guidance on writing scripts to allow for consistent use of cues and supports in activities. The final sections offer information and advice on developing receptive communication, monitoring, jargon and references.

The aim of the book to provide a practical guide to best practices in providing a responsive, communicative environment has, in my opinion, been achieved. Each section provides background information, grounded in research to provide an underpinning for the more practical elements. The social and interactive nature of communication is stressed and illustrated by examples throughout. It would be of benefit as a resource for any person working with people who are preintentional communicators and who wishes to implement constructive and functional communication intervention around everyday activities and routines.


Dolly Bhargava, co-author of Participation Through Communication Guide.

The Participation Through Communication Guide is published by Innovative Communication Programming. The authors, Ylana Bloom and Dolly Bhargava, are speech pathologists specialising as augmentative communication consultants.

Additional information and order forms can be found at www.innovativeprogramming.net.au

Innovative Communication Programming has also published other disability related resources that are useful for anyone working with individuals with disabilities.

Reviewed by

Dr Jennifer Stephenson,
Senior Lecturer in Special Education / Special Education Program Director
Editor Australasian Journal of Special Education
Faculty of Education
University of Technology Sydney

March 2004

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