Autism Communication Board

Caudwell Children is collaborating with parent and neurodiversity campaigner, Dan Harris, to research the implementation of autism communications boards to public areas across the UK.

Following the example Dan has set in partnership with Peterborough City Council and MP Paul Bristow, we will endeavour to find a solution for autism communication boards like this to become commonplace in play areas or public spaces across the UK. (More info: Local dad works with city council to make playpark autism-friendly – Peterborough City Council)

The boards have a number of images and symbols which will allow children who are non-verbal to communicate how they are feeling and what they want to do.

Dan said: “Communication does not always need to mean verbal communication. My little boy may not necessarily verbalise what he wants, but he can use technology and pictures to communicate. Without the board he may get upset and frustrated as he can find it difficult to communicate what he wants, but now he can simply go up to board and point his finger to show what he wants. This communication board truly gives him a voice!” 

“Having a communication board available in the community won’t only make the playpark more enjoyable for the ‘Joshie-man’, importantly, it will raise awareness of autism and get the people who use the park talking about those children who communicate in other ways than the ‘standard’ verbal communication. It’s so important for society to accept that Autistic people are ‘different’ but not ‘less.’”

Caudwell Children CEO, Trudi Beswick, said: “Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and what Dan has delivered in his local community is both simple and yet extremely effective. 

To give non-verbal children the opportunity to communicate will make them feel more included and a recognised part of our society. 

It also prompts greater understanding and awareness of autism among other children and parents using the same spaces. We are excited to be taking Dan’s lead on this fantastic project and working with him to hopefully scale this example so that they will become an integral part of building more inclusive public spaces in the future.“

Group of people stood around the communication board

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