We were approached recently by one of our wonderful TACPAC-ers to ask for a symbol to represent TACPAC that she could use on a visual timetable to explain to a student what would be happening that day.
As Tacpac’s Early Years Complex Needs SLT and Trainer, I thought this might be helpful for our TACPAC Community.
Standardisation across settings
We are sure that many of you already use a symbol to represent TACPAC that you have created yourselves. This request prompted us to have an image available for you to download from the TACPAC website that you can then use to create a symbol. This would mean that there is more standardisation across settings with regards to the TACPAC symbol being used and this is desirable because, after all, promoting clear, consistent communication is one of our fundamental goals. We can use picture symbols for all ages and stages of communication if our receivers are receptive them.
How to use your TACPAC symbol with receivers?
It will be helpful to check with your receiver’s Speech and Language Therapist if you are unsure whether the use of symbols is appropriate for them.
There are lots of different ways in which symbols can be used to promote communication, both receptively and expressively.
One really useful way in which symbols can be used is to show visually what is going to be happening. This could be as simple as showing the TACPAC symbol just before TACPAC is about to begin and leaving the symbol in an accessible position to refer back to, if needed. The beauty of symbols is that they provide a concrete, visual representation of a concept that does not go away. Words are fleeting, as they are spoken and then disappear, but symbols remain.
We like what we know
Creating a safe and predictable environment is a key principle of TACPAC and allows the receiver to be able to relax and receive the sensory message given to them. This is established by delivering TACPAC:
- At the Same time
- In the Same place
- With the Same giver
- Using the Same set for at least 6 months.
By introducing the TACPAC session using the TACPAC symbol in the same way each time, this will also contribute to the creation of a safe, predictable environment.