Personalized Communication Dictionary




This free printable corresponds to this article about oral language expression: The Best Tips for Improving Oral Language Expression. Please take the time to read through the article so you can use the printable dictionary to its full potential.


Communicative intent is the intended meaning of a verbalization, gesture, or behavior expressed by your child. It’s not always what you take from the action or what you think it means – it’s what it means in your child’s head.

This can be a really hard concept for some people to grasp. 

Anyone involved in caring for your child needs to have a thorough understanding of how your child communicates. You should explain this in detail to others – such as teachers, or daycare staff, extended family, etc. because they may need to I theinr expectations of communication.+

If your child has limited oral language expression, parents and caregivers should accept their verbal attempts, and behavior, as communicative and work on understanding the child’s intent rather than trying to make them “use their words” 

Does your child often get misunderstood at school or struggle to communicate their needs effectively? Here’s something you can try to help other’s understand your child’s communicative intent: 

  • Create a personalized “Dictionary” of your child’s verbalizations, behaviors, and gestures to let other people know what your child means. 
  • Include any planned adult responses. For some children, it takes time  to understand that different responses can have the same meaning, so it’s helpful that adults respond to your child with consistent language whenever possible. 


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