An unaided method of communication that includes facial expressions, eye gazing, hand movements and body postures (Beukelman & Mirenda, 1998). They are part of our earliest communication behaviors and remain in our repertoire throughout the lifespan. Some gestures are universal and are understood across cultures.
Reichle, Beukelman & Light, Exemplary Practices for Beginning Communicators. 2002.
Again, this strategy, if a match for a studentís needs, skills and existing strategies, can further expand a multi-modal communication system.
Gestures are NOT to be overlooked. There are many movements that communicate meaning but are not necessarily part of a formal sign language system. Additionally, idiosyncratic gestures are not always easily understood.
Students with orthopedic impairments can use gross approximations of conventional or non-conventional (idiosyncratic) gestures to effectively convey their intent.
They may also use gestures and facial expressions to alert their partner, gain their partner’s attention, and indicate a preference or non-preference.
Danny tries to get Keith to drive back into the classroom with him.