If you have been making up symbol cards or boards from scratch using tables in your word processor, you may be feeling the need to speed up and simplify the process. While commercial communication software is fabulous for this, it is a luxury not always available or affordable for all families. Today I'm sharing a link for a list of free programs you can use to create communication symbols for your child. Since you have been working on figuring the most appropriate style/size of symbol for your child (you have been, right?), you will be able to judge which on the list best fits your needs. You see? There is method in my madness at having you start from scratch in creating your symbols...it exposes you to the questions and frustrations that make you a better evaluator of the options out there!
This link for free programs comes from one of the greatest Web resources you will ever find...Kate Ahern's amazing blog, Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs. I need to tell you a little about the inspiring Kate Ahern. Kate works tirelessly to bring the best of the newest information out there to people working with kids with severe needs. Seriously, I don't know how she does it. She spends her days working directly with kids doing creative things and then comes home and collects all this fabulous information to pass along. She's incredible. Kate's dedication has lifted me up at times I've felt a bit discouraged in trying to meet my daughter's needs, because here is a person who lives and breathes the mission of helping kids just like mine. She reminds me that there really are some great folks out there. Please bookmark her award-winning site or sign up for RSS feeds; you don't want to miss anything. And sometime when you have endless hours to spend filling your head with more terrific information than it can possibly hold, go back through her early posts...her archives are gold. No, I take that back...they're platinum.
If you love Kate's helpful information as much as I do, please drop her a note. We all love a little encouragement.