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02.04.2015 admin
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are severely challenged by their difficulties with language and communication.
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PODD (or Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) communication books were developed in Australia by Gayle Porter, originally for children with cerebral palsy.
Hey, I’m reading this a bit late so hopefully somebody with some ideas will read this! How do you start encouraging a nine year old pupil with ASD and ADHD (whose parents do not want to allow him medication) to use PODD sheets for school activities, homes, sessions etc. PrAACtical AAC supports a community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties. This software helps create a wide range of communication books to suit varying communication, language and sensory requirements.Requires Boardmaker (please see below) - not compatible with Boardmaker Studio.Buy PODD with Boardmaker V6 and save! This resource is for people supporting children who are learning to communicate using aided symbols (pictographs, graphic symbols, whole written words).
The resource provides templates to create a range of PODD communication books designed for children who use direct pointing with a whole hand, finger or pointer.
An electronic version of the book titled Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display communication books by Gayle Porter (2007).
Templates for fourteen different PODD communication books from simple early functions to complex syntax. An information file providing a detailed description for that communication book’s language, page layout, vocabulary organisation and navigation pathways. Construction files providing specific instructions for printing and constructing each communication book.
CD2 contains template folders for two page opening PODD communication books: forty key word, seventy expanded key word and one hundred plus complex syntax. CD3 contains template folders for two page opening with side panel PODD communication books: thirty six key word, forty eight expanded keyword and ninety plus complex syntax.

Boardmaker for Windows or Mac version 5 or later for printing and customising the templates. Some research suggests that augmented language input, whereby a speaking communication partner adopts and uses an augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) system for both expressive and receptive language, can be effective with these individuals. If you do not have an ASHA login, you may register with us for free by creating a new account. As their use becomes more widespread throughout the world, practitioners are considering the benefits of using them with other clinical populations. Like you we have experimented with using the books with children with ASD but the challenge schools face is keeping such a large book near enough to the most active children to be able to reach for it when they are engaging in an activity.
The pupil was born in Uganda, apparently went to school there but moved from school to school, came to England five years ago but never been to school in England. It was founded in 2011 by two SLP professors, Carole Zangari and the late Robin Parker, around a shared passion for AAC.
Therapists, teachers and parents will all have the opportunity to access the materials in this resource for their clients, students, children and young people.
This publication describes the theoretical underpinnings and features of PODD communication books and includes a detailed section on teaching learning strategies. These templates can be viewed and customised using Boardmaker version 5 or later (not included) - not compatible with Boardmaker Studio. If you continue without changing your settings we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Inclusive website.
The Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) system is both a method and tool for developing and utilizing augmented language input. She previously worked in a primary school for children with ASD, where PODD and Aided Language Displays were introduced as part of a school wide approach in order to enhance the communication-friendly environment for all pupils. Their structured organisation and emphasis on visual communication means that they are also a valuable tool for developing the communication of those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (Porter & Cafiero, 2009). The pupil has English as a second language (but parents do not speak it at home), never been in an English school, is completely non verbal and does not understand English language, has no concept of numbers, letters or symbols or what they represent? As a promising practice, PODD provides strategies to support the design, production, and implementation of communication systems that enable genuine communication for a variety of functions in all daily environments.
In this post, she shares how they used PODD books and aided language input to build the students’ communication skills. Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication Books: A Promising Practice for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders.

PODD includes strategies to minimize some of the common difficulties associated with the use of multi-level communication books. This article explores the use of the PODD system for individuals with ASD, with emphasis on features that address the unique communication challenges faced by these individuals. It is important that children are not forced to use, or even to look at the displays, but that any attempt to use the symbols in a communicative manner was responded to in a positive way. This reduces the number of page turns which are needed, and therefore increases the speed and efficiency of communication.
The biggest challenge when introducing PODD books into classrooms within the school was ‘creating the habit’ among adults in the school. This included the necessity of a child having their PODD book with them at all times, and for staff to use Aided Language to support all of their messages, both when teaching and when talking informally to a child. As pupils became more familiar with, and dependent on their PODD books being their ‘voice,’ this difficulty lessened, as many children took responsibility for their own books (and often became upset if they were forgotten!) and staff saw the benefits of their efforts. To lessen the enormity of using a whole book, new users were recommended to focus on familiarising themselves with a different pathway each week, and to focus initially on using on the book consistently to communicate a handful of messages, rather than trying to navigate to the vocabulary for every single thing they wanted to say. A year after Aided Language Displays and PODD books were introduced, wide ranging benefits were seen to the children beyond just supporting their expressive communication. Staff and parents fed back that their use had far reaching effects on pupils’ behaviour, engagement within classes and understanding of information. One parent reported that ‘I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in his speech [talking] and I didn’t think I’d see that. He’s calmer now, not so frustrated and when he uses the book, when he points to the pictures to tell you, he smiles, ‘cos he knows he’s told you. He doesn’t get so anxious now, definitely.’  Staff also became more aware of pupils’ capabilities, as nonverbal children were given a structured way to participate and to show their understanding within lessons, such as through labelling shapes, answering questions in literacy and expressing their opinions.
Staff were also made to rethink some of their lesson plans, as occasionally pupils used their new-found communication techniques to tell us, ‘I don’t like it, it’s boring’!

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