Advancements in Non-Verbal Communication

Advancements in Non-Verbal Communication

Gabriella Crawford-Willey (10th), Reporter

Many people need help or support when it comes to the ways they can communicate. Tools that support this need have been in the making for quite a while. The success of different products is helpful since one system won’t work for everyone.  


Developments of communication systems started right around the 1960s with Albert Mehrabian. Mehrabian’s theories around non-verbal communication were centered on body language, along with emotions presented in a situation.  


Although that take on nonverbal communication isn’t seen as very accessible today for communicating troubles he still gave great theories and studies on body language. One major advancement that works for many today are communication apps. Some examples include Proloquo2Go, My First AAC App, and iCommunicate.


Apps such as these have helped not only parents of non-verbal children, but the kids as well. These systems allow for a direct way for someone to express what they want and allow for a more direct line of communication.


Technology like this is not necessary for practicing and helping people who are non-verbal. There are other methods such as a customizable velcro book. Parents, teachers, and whoever needs it can print pictures of certain items/ words so that they can clearly communicate what they want or need. 


Personally, in my family, we have tried most forms of nonverbal communication systems, and many are extremely helpful. My brother has low functioning autism, which for him makes it difficult to communicate what he wants. This usually makes him pretty frustrated.


Using apps has been the most effective, and allows for him to express what he is trying to communicate much better. Even though at first he struggled using the system and had a hard time getting his message across, but the more people practice with help the better it gets. 


My grandmother who works with him has expressed, “Non-verbal communication apps have helped him greatly, and allow him more choices/ luxuries that we take for granted.”


When looking back at how much systems like this have helped my brother it is amazing to think about what they have done for other people. I’m very excited to see what the future holds for developments that will allow people like my brother more freedom and choice.