Verbal approximations are vocalizations that approximate actual words. They include some of, but not all of, the phonemes of the intended word.
Again, this strategy, if a match for a studentís needs, skills and existing strategies, can further expand a multi-modal communication system.
Verbal approximations are not always consistent. The same word may sound different across productions based on fatigue, level of excitement, etc.
Verbal approximations are not always easy for non-familiar listeners to understand.
Verbal approximations are often studentsí first choice of communication strategies, especially with familiar partners. They should be encouraged to use their voices whenever possible. Studentsí verbal approximations are often better understood in the home environment, where they are most relaxed and with their most familiar communication partners. Having an established context can greatly improve the partnerís ability to understand the studentís intended message.
It is important that the partner accurately understands what the student has conveyed. If you are unsure, it is best to say so and ask for clarification. Therefore, it is important that students have strategies for repairing communication breakdowns. It is also important for partners to give feedback indicating their understanding of what they are hearing so that the student knows that the message has been received.
Katia uses her voice to count along with her teacher during a math lesson.