Like objects, photos can be used to represent words, objects, activities and places. They are harder to understand than objects, because they are only 2 dimensional but they still look like what the are representing. At Cherry Oak, photos are used to help pupils to express themselves by pointing to the photo to make choices, answer questions, tell news etc.
Symbols are computer generated line drawings which can be used to represent words, objects and activities. They can also be used to represent things which are harder to understand, such as actions or emotions. Symbols are harder to understand because they may not look as much like the thing they are representing. Not all pupils will be able to understand symbols.
Symbols can be used in the same way as photos– to support understanding and to help pupils express themselves in a range of different ways. Some pupil use 1 or 2 symbols at a time, others are able to use communication books, with lots of different symbols at once, or to build sentences to give instructions.