Rainbow Centre Training & Consultancy

Multi-Modal Communication and Learning Strategies for Children who Face Significant Challenges

Recommend course:


Children who face significant physical and multiple challenges, as well as those children on the more severe end of the autism spectrum, often struggle to access communication, interaction and learning.  Some of these children may have very little control of moving their bodies.  Others have difficulty taking in and processing sensory information from their environment.  Many find communication and interaction skills challenging.

This two day presentation will address questions such as: What are we learning from brain research that can help us understand how children learn?  How do we motivate children and provide opportunities for active learning? What strategies help give these children a sense of control and facilitate interaction and communication?  How does the child on the severe end of the autism spectrum perceive the world and how does this impact learning and communication?  How does Cortical Visual Impairment impact learning?

This workshop will introduce the concept of providing a receptive aided language learning environment, and demonstrate how learning alternative and augmentative forms of communication can and should parallel the developmental process that typical children go through in learning speech.  We will also take a brief look at Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) Communication books developed by Gayle Porter, in Melbourne, Australia.  (Please note: This is not an official Introductory PODD course).   This workshop is for anyone working with young children or children functioning at young levels, who have difficulty communicating and interacting with others.  This includes children with significant physical and multiple challenges and/or young children on the more severe end of the autism spectrum.  Information shared will be useful to parents, teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other supportive personnel.

Learning Outcomes

Participants would be able to:

  • Discuss how the brain develops and describe implications for teaching and learning for those students who are developing differently
  • Describe strategies for increasing motivation, cognitive engagement, and active participation in the learning process
  • Discuss a variety of ways to adapt materials to facilitate cognitive and the communication skills in young children.
  • List characteristics of students who have cortical visual impairment along with other multiple disabilities, and describe useful strategies to help develop vision and communication skills.
  • Describe strategies that help the child who are on the severe end of autism spectrum, develop skills in receptive, expressive and cognitive processing language skills.
  • Describe how to utilize what is known about how typical children learn language and apply these principles to creating a multi-modal communication learning environment for children who face complex challenges
  • Briefly explain how the use of Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) provides an appropriate tool for children at the beginning stages of language development and describe how to implement this in natural contexts.