For most people, picture communication boards are one of the first forms of Augmentative Communication tried. These can be extremely simple: 2 pictures of breakfast cereals on a piece of paper. Then ask, “Which cereal do you want?” Reduces frustration, helps facilitate communication, and enables the child the ability to talk about something out of sight. Brilliant!
As the child is able, more pictures can be added. To the breakfast example, a parent could increase the picture choices to 4 pictures, then 8. At that point the parent probably wants to stop since they are out of breakfast choice ideas! 😉
Other simple picture communication boards could include play choices. Keep toys out of reach and offer the child choices on their board: blocks, dolls, playdough, etc. You can use photographs of the actual objects (for the most concrete and/or youngest children), drawings, or just words (for readers). Speech Pathologists often use Picture Communication Symbols with Boardmaker software because they are colorful and the program is easy to use.
Very important, like any “new” language, you cannot expect a child to instantly understand what you are saying or what you want. You must model using the pictures over and over and over. For many children, only after the child has seen you using the picture choices many, many times will it really sink in.