Communication-Based Routine

A communication-based routine should focus more on experiences, bonding, and the language that will be infused. The outcome is not the focus. The focus is on language, bonding, and building concepts around how things work in the world.

Things to consider when building communication-based routines:

    • Establish a repetitive structure for conversations.
    • Maintain clearly defined roles for initiating and responding.
    • Include multiple turns and practice.
    • Establish predictable steps for maintaining interaction.
    • Infuse as much communication as possible.
    • Consider your students’ likes and dislikes.
    • Consider your likes and dislikes.
    • Make it fun for everyone involved!
    • Make it functional!
    • Does this routine move your student closer to being independent?

Videos: Communication-Based Routines

In this video, you will see a group activity with TVI Chris Montgomery and Tania, a student who is deafblind, making dog biscuits. We’re much less worried about how great the doggie treats come out than we are about the experience, language, learning, and fun we’re having.
 The video below shows Jarvis, a student who is deafblind, going through the routine looking at his calendar and then going to the drum store with his teacher, Matt Schultz.
During this routine, Ray and his teacher use the platform of “baking cookies” to infuse the larger topics of language, concepts development, and conversation into a fun activity. This is a good example of a multistep, sequenced, routine – notice the use of the sequence box for putting the items for the routine in their specific order. This allows for our clear beginning, middle, end, as well as for labeling each item (or step) within the routine.
As you may notice, the skill of baking is secondary to teaching communication, and having fun while doing it. Notice the techniques being used for auditory training, hand-under-hand/tactile communication, and how Ray and his teacher are positioned so that they can interact with the baking items, and also each other.