Guiding Principle

Different types of Communication Needs

Formal, symbolic communicators may communicate using speech, pictures, symbols,  writing, spelling, typing, communication device.

  • May or may not require supports to make and / or communicate decisions
  • May or may not have challenges understanding spoken language
Informal, non-symbolic communicators may communicate using body language, facial expression, vocalizations, pointing or looking at objects and people, behaviours.
  • Rely on other people to interpret preferences and choices
  • Have significant challenges understanding spoken language
People who cannot communicate or make informed decisions, after assessment by a Speech-Language Pathologist
  • May rely on trusted people to speak on their behalf  and to make decisions based on the individual’s current and past known preferences, will, values, advanced directives and wishes, personal, emotional and spiritual needs.