Non-verbal individuals cannot speak and therefore must rely on other means of communication. It is not uncommon for behavioural challenges to present when one is faced with the frustration of not having an effective means to express emotions or get thoughts/messages across to listeners. Basic forms of alternative communication include: sign language, gesturing, eye gaze, showing or pointing to pictures, pointing to a letter board, and/or writing. There are also a wide variety of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices which can assist individuals who are unable to express themselves verbally. Very low-tech devices consist of a single button, and high-tech devices have numerous buttons and screens full of information which can be accessed on a computer/tablet.

Non-verbal communicators vary significantly in terms of their ability to overcome the challenge of letting others know just how much they understand and exactly how intelligent they are. Very functional high-level communicators will be able to clearly express themselves and their complex thoughts. In contrast, very delayed/impaired individuals can essentially be “locked in” to themselves. 

Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists can assess the individual's communication abilities and assist in determining the best means of communication based on those abilities.

Related therapies to treat this condition:

Communication Intermediary Services

Accessing police, legal, and justice services when you are experiencing a speech or language difficulty can be challenging and could have serious consequences if the individuals...

Find Out More

It Takes Two to Talk® - The Hanen Program®

This program is designed to teach parents of young children practical strategies on how to improve their child’s language and communication skills. 

Find Out More

More Than Words - The Hanen Program®

This program is for parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. You will learn how to help your child communicate successfully with others.

Find Out More