PODD© Communication System Introductory Training

PODD stands for Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display. The PODD © Communication System was developed by Speech Pathologist Gayle Porter, who works at CPEC (Cerebral Palsy Education Centre) in Melbourne, Australia. The system was originally designed for use with children with cerebral palsy, but as experience in using, and interest in the system has developed worldwide, the value of the system for a far wider range of individuals with communication needs has become apparent.

PODD approaches sit perfectly alongside other systems for communication support within communication friendly environments, such as Makaton and PECS where an ‘all the time’ quality standard for communication support is being strived for.

A key tenet of the system is an immersive language approach where the focus is on natural language stimulation, where visual referencing is modelled alongside the verbal.

The adult language partner points to symbols for key words while speaking, and the child therefore sees and experiences a wide range of communicative functions.

There is a structured way of navigating between pages, which contain vocabulary predictably associated with a topic rather than using the more traditional approach of organising vocabulary into collections such as people, animals, food etc. The key impact is efficiency and involvement, with a primary aim of the child being socially valued and engaged at whatever level they are able to participate.

Because of the visual way of supporting communication within a highly structured system, PODD has become a popular and effective tool for autistic children. PODD books are created in a range of different formats depending on the sensory, physical and communication needs of the user.
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