Non-Verbal Communication Presentation

American Sign Language (ASL), Picture
Exchange Communication System (PECS),
Interpretive Dance, and Non-Verbal
Assessment Techniques
Many believe that ASL was formed in the
beginning of the nineteenth century, but no on is
certain of when it first came about.
 All forms of sign language are different,
depending on the origin language.
 Most children who are born deaf will either
acquire it from their parents if they are also ASL
users, or will learn it alongside their parents if
they have hearing parents who must practice it
as well.
 As with any language acquisition, ASL is better
learned as early as possible for children to
utilize it properly.
There are numerous different disorders that can
leave students with the inability to communicate
verbally with others:
Aphasia (A speech disorder that’s the effect of another
medical condition, i.e. a stroke, head injury, etc.)
Autism (Several forms of Autism leave children and
adults with the inability to speak coherently, but not all
of them do.)
Cerebral Palsy (As with Autism, there are varying
degrees of this disease; people with CP who have
retained some amount of motor function may be able to
utilize ASL, while others may not be able to.)
Down Syndrome (Because of the symptoms of Down
Syndrome, ASL gives some people with it the ability to
communicate, though if they are able to convey
themselves verbally it is oftentimes more encouraged.)
These kinds of basics can be taught to students
in order for them to communicate with
classmates that are deaf or use ASL as their
primary language.
In classrooms that have students who communicate
using ASL, it can be helpful to have resources such as
charts or books that will allow their classmates to
look up the means to talk to them, especially if there
is going to be group work.
In many cases, students who are non-verbal will be
assigned an interpreter for the classroom so that they
can follow along with lectures and spoken
instructions. There may be cases, however, where
there is not one in the classroom to aid them. In
these instances, it will be necessary for the teacher
to either write everything up on the board or, since it
would be simpler, to create a sheet for the student
explaining everything that they will be going over in
class. (Creating these will also help if the student has
difficulty writing or taking down information as well,
and give them something concrete to work off of.)
ASL takes a while to learn, especially since most
adults lose the ability to retain new languages,
but learning simple phrases to explain certain
activities and situations (i.e. for a fire drill, field
trip, etc.) can help you establish a system of
communication with your student so that they
will not have to rely entirely on their
interpreter, and will allow you to communicate
with them if something unforeseen happens.
 There are countless books and videos available
about ASL that give instruction, and courses are
offered at different institutions on learning it
more extensively (universities, YMCA, etc.)
- ASL Pro is a free
site for educators to use. It has dictionaries,
videos, and other resources for teachers.
 This is a basic
dictionary of ASL words, which are described
for the reader to try out on their own.
How to sign the Pledge of Allegiance.
 There are also countless printed resources on
PECS was originally designed for children and
adults with autism as a means for them to
organize and understand everyday tasks, and be
able to communicate with their family, friends,
classmates/teachers, and so forth.
 PECS can also be used, however, to help students
with other disorders that either make it hard for
them to communicate verbally, or have trouble
comprehending verbally given instructions. (For
example, some people who have autism can
speak, but have trouble understanding the things
that are said to them, so visual aids can be
incredibly helpful for them.)
usually involve a combination of images
and sometimes brief written messages that
users can organize for a variety for uses:
PECS can be used as schedules for daily
tasks, for laying out parts of assignments,
and so forth. There’s really no limit on the
potential that they have, and can be made to
suit just about any purpose.
NLQuA This video shows PECS being used in
An explanatory site: (Gives a detailed explanation of the
benefits of PECS, the potential disadvantages, and talks about
the six stages of how PECS should be introduced to a child.)
 A for-profit site that has PECS sets
that can be ordered, as well as seminars for learning how to
utilize them to their full potential.
 A wonderful site that has
many colored images with labels for PECS systems.
 This site is not in English, but
the PECS pictures are, and there’s a nice variety of them.
 Has a great mix of free and paid for
resources, and additional materials available for teachers as
Interpretive dance is a means for students to show
their ideas and artistic expression non-verbally.
Interpretive dance is sometimes used already in
extracurricular activities, such as variety and talent
shows, by students. Incorporating it into the
classroom would give them a creative means of
expression that may already interest them.
A good resource for lesson plans involving
interpretive dance is Lesson Planet:
earch_type=related This site requires a free trial
membership, but gives access to many different kinds
of ways to incorporate this into a variety of lessons.
 Typical
types of non-verbal assessment would
be paper tests, quizzes, assignments, and so
forth that are given daily in schools.
 Assessments done on paper are typically nonverbal; most students do not require any
verbal instruction, since they are able to
read the directions. But most teachers utilize
non-verbal assessment in these ways
numerous times during the school year.
 Research has conducted to prove the validity
of non-verbal intellectual tests and what
they can show to researchers and educators
 “From
the beginning, test developers have faced
the challenge of assessing the cognitive
functioning of individuals who lack the ability to
demonstrate their cognitive skills using the
language of the culture in which they live.”
(McCallum, 2001, p. 2)
 Strictly non-verbal assessment is necessary for
testing the knowledge and cognition of students
and people who may not be able to verbally
show their intellect.
 For example: non-verbal assessment is essential
for testing the intelligence of a student who is
deaf and cannot be tested properly using verbal
There are also several other reasons to use nonverbal assessment: “Each of these measures may
be used in varying degrees to access general
cognitive and intellectual ability, to screen
students potentially eligible for special services,
to more fairly access students with limited
English proficiency or with diverse cultural and
educational backgrounds, to screen students who
would be disadvantaged by traditional languageloaded assessments (e.g. deaf students), and to
access what students can do despite whatever
language, motor, or color-vision limitations they
may have.” (McCallum, 2001, p.15)
Non-verbal assessment is a means through which students
who cannot verbally show their knowledge can show their
intelligence. Students who may be deaf, have cerebral
palsy, who other disorders that impair their verbal abilities
can have a means to show that they either do or do not
know what has been taught to them. There are many
people who have certain disabilities that still function at
the same level as people without any disabilities, but
without this kind of assessment, there is no way for them
to show this.
Examples of specific non-verbal tests that can be used for
this purpose: Unidimensional (Beta III, CTONI, GAMA, NNAT,
RPM, TONI-III) These test specific abilities and content.
Then there is the UNIT test (Universal Non-Verbal
Intelligence Test) which tests a more broad scope of
someone’s capabilities, including their strengths and
weaknesses , but also can be used by researchers to gain a
global sense of what education is doing right and wrong in
their assessment techniques.
Youtube videos:
Online Resource:
McCallum, S., Bracken, B., and Wasserman, J. (2001). Essentials of
Non-Verbal Assessment. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.