Looking at an object or a symbol can be a less effortful way to indicate a preference, especially for someone who has difficulty with accurate finger or hand pointing.
Below are the instructions for using eye gaze as a method of communication:
- Present choices
Have the child look at the objects (e.g., two different toys). Draw their attention to the first object and label it. Do the same with the other.
- Have the child make the choice
Ask the child to look at you, and then ask them a question pertaining to the choices offered (e.g., “What do you want to play with?”) At first, it will be important to direct the child to look at the object to indicate their choice (e.g., “Look at the toy to tell me.”)
- Have the child confirm a choice
After the child looks at the desired object, ask them to look back at you to confirm that they are finished making a choice. This is an important step to confirm the child’s choice.
Eye Gaze Frame:
Symbols can be attached to an eye gaze frame (sometimes called e-tran) that can be purchased or created. Eye gaze frames are typically made with clear plastic. They are rectangular with a hole in the middle, and the symbols are attached using Velcro™. You can create one using a variety of materials, such as picture frame matting, plastic placemats (with a hole cut in the middle) or wooden picture frame (without the glass).