Commenting is a great skill to teach because it helps the user initiate and engage in meaningful conversations.It's important that the child is taught to express his/her opinion about their surroundings and people in it. Hence commenting forms an important part of communication function.
Comments are great for initiating conversations with the child through modelling and they are much more engaging than questions. It is easy to intersperse comments amidst any kind of conversation. This also relieves the communication from being limited to requests alone. Comments and descriptions lay less pressure on the child since they can be modelled without expecting a response.
Here are some examples of interesting comments to make during daily conversations.
Examples of comments
- This looks cool!
- You look nice!
- That's great!
- The movie was awesome!
- The story is funny!
- The soup is yucky!
- The juice is yummy!
Vocabulary in Avaz for commenting
- good, bad, wow, great, cool, awesome, funny, terrible, good idea, oh no, etc.
Where do I find the words in Avaz?
In Avaz, you can find the comments under Quick > Responses and Comments.
How to teach
Introduce the icons on the device for 'wow’ and 'great’ and 'yummy', to start with. See below for how to hide the remaining icons that are present in the screen.
While eating food you can model the word yummy. You can say "The dosa is yummy" while tapping on the word yummy in Avaz and stressing on the word yummy and showing the child the word as you tap on it. If you need help to know how to model the word, click here to see - How to model words in Avaz?
Repeat the word several times during the day during mealtime for different types of food. At snack time you can say "The mango is yummy." At breakfast you can say "The paratha or idli is yummy". At dinner time you can say "the sabji (or sambar) is yummy".
Encourage the child to respond to greetings by choosing the appropriate icon on Avaz.
If the child doesn’t tap on the appropriate word, use prompting strategies to guide them to the correct response. Even if the child doesn't respond after prompting, it's perfectly ok to continue to model as much as possible and move on. It can take many sessions of modelling before the learner will use a modelled word or utterance.
Repeat this everyday and on several occasions through the day. Create opportunities to use it more often through the day.
Generalize the same in the natural environment in real life situations to comment on experiences. Encourage family members to also comment and model on Avaz.
How to teach
when the child answers a question correctly - wow, that is correct
while reading stories - wow, look at that big dinosaur
while browsing photos - wow, look at that small baby
finding something beautiful in nature - wow, look at that beautiful flower
finding a hidden object - wow, you found the ball
great / awesome
when child answers correctly - Great, that is correct
at lunch time - great, you ate all your food
while playing - great, you put the blocks correctly
after putting away the toys - great you put away all your toys
good or I like
Ask the child about their preferred items of food and other activities - e.g
how is the banana - good,
how is the milkshake - good,
how was the painting today - good etc.
this shirt looks good
your earring looks good
you look good in the new dress
bad or I don't like
Ask the child about their non-preferred items of food and other activities - e.g
how is the spinach (or their non-preferred item) - bad,
bursting crackers is good or bad - bad etc.
When something drops or falls (make something fall by accident - e.g.
dropping a box or book that you are holding - oops I dropped it
water spilling on the table - Oops, I spilt the water
dropping the spoon on the floor while eating - Oops, the spoon fell down
When an expected event doesn't happen, causing disappointment - e.g.
- when there is no electricity while trying to watch TV (you can temporarily turn off the switch intentionally and pretend there is no electricity), - Oh no, we can't watch TV now
- while trying to paint, hide the paintbrush - Oh no, I can't find the paint brush
- while wearing on shoes, hide one of the shoes - Oh no, I can't find the shoes
- clothes - your dress looks nice
- food - the roti is nice
- TV show - this man is nice, he is kind to everyone
- Colors - the red shirt looks nice
- wall hangings or objects around the house - the painting looks nice
- browsing photo albums - your dad looks nice
- nature - the sun looks nice, the flower looks nice
- animals and birds - this dog is nice
The best results happen when the learner is having fun! So try your best to use activities, or topics that are fun for the learner. Make the experience silly or fun by tying in the experience with the learner’s interests.
It is really important to NOT FORCEa response from the user. Forcing communication can lead to reluctance or refusal later, because communication becomes a demand or a "test".
Don’t introduce all the comments at one go.
Teach one comment at a time repetitively, until the child learns to use it in the correct context.
Retain only one or two comment on the screen and hide the other icons.
See the video below to know how to hide icons from the child's view.