Hello! If you are an SLP you probably immediately understand the benefit of matching objects to pictures. I often have other staff members ask me WHY we work so hard on this skill. I then explain to them, that for our students who don’t use words to communicate, it is a step towards creating a functional communication system to help them tell us what they want and need. Many children pick this skill up on their own during their early years. However, many of the students on our caseloads, don’t pick this skill up independently. If a student doesn’t pick up this skill independently, it can be challenging to teach this skill. Finding highly motivating objects/toys, taking photos, printing photos, laminating photos, attaching photos to a communication board…it all takes time, and I don’t know about you, but extra “time” is not something I typically find in my work day!
That’s why I wanted to share a few presentation styles to target object/photo matching that have worked for me and the students on my caseload over the past few years. I want to save you time. I’d love to hear about what you have found that works well for you too, so please feel free to comment on this post or shoot me an email or facebook message!
In my practice, I found that giving a child an object, and asking them to find the photo that matches it off a communication board with two pictures didn’t work. Likewise, when I tried to show a child a photo, and ask them to find the object that matches it out of a box containing two objects, it didn’t work. Why didn’t these presentations work? I’m not sure, but I didn’t see success with this. I could type you a list of about 10 reasons why I think this didn’t work, but instead I’ll jump ahead to what did.
There are two different presentations I find success with. The one thing in common between both of them, is a distinct visual barrier between each photo resulting in a very distinct place to put each object. The first system I made was on a whim. One of our staff members was getting rid of this nifty box and I scooped it up and decided to give it a try. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!
For the objects in this box I had to chose small items. I found items with a variety of textures. I took photos of the objects and taped them into the box using clear packing tape. To use, I engage the student with the object (rubbing the soft pom pom on their check, pushing the car on the table, tapping the paperclip to make noise, etc.), then I give the student the object (one at a time) and say “find it” while gesturing toward the box. If the “find it” prompt or gesture is not necessary, I don’t use it. The less verbal language input during this task, the better success I’ve seen.
The next presentation is that I’ve seen success with is more flexible and really inexpensive to make! I used a dollar store “bucket” and small trays that are usually found at concession stands. I had to do a little trimming on the trays, but eventually I could fit three into my dollar store bucket. I taped them in using masking tape. Then I attached Velcro to the bottom of the trays to use with laminated pictures. I love this set up because the pictures can easily be exchanged to ensure the child is really grasping the concept of object/picture matching, not just memorizing where objects belong! To use, I do the same thing as I did with the other presentation. Again, fading prompts as quickly as possible and using as little verbal language as possible.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have found this post helpful!