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Dual code communication is better for language development of differently abled children: Study
It has been observed that even for children with special needs; teachers tend to use the conventional flash cards showing colourful real pictures as often used in the general education classrooms despite the fact that picture exchange communication system and Makaton picture codes have shown promise as therapeutic aids.

Inspired by such work, two Jaipur based researchers in special education, Varsha Tikkiwal and L Kishore tried out a pedagogical experiment of developing and standardizing dual code flash cards with picture symbols which represent reality as two-dimensional line drawing with minimum number of details making recognition of the objects possible.

Around forty visual code cards of the common objects found in and around a common household were developed as simple out-line and shape drawings on the cards 1.5 times bigger than the normal flash cards. The cards were standardized in terms of visibility and attention grabbing leading to a proper procedure in the use visual-code cards.

The research paper of the two investigators titled "Dual Code Learning and Standardization of Visual Symbol Cards for Language Development of Differently Abled Children: A Pedagogical Experiment" has been accepted for the national conference on "Disability: Multiple Possibilities & Prospects" to be held in Jaipur from 9th to 11th November.

The abstract of the paper states that a pedagogical experiment was undertaken to develop and standardize dual code flash cards with picture symbols which represent reality as two-dimensional line drawing with minimum number of details making recognition of the objects possible. The basic pedagogical premises of the experiment were that learning of language is a process of making a shift from real to semi-real to abstract and learning must proceed from simple to complex.

Accordingly, with discussion with an expert, 40 objects were identified from the daily life situation of the differently abled children and size of the card and visual coded were drawn by taking suggestions from the work of visual code standardization experts on the internet. Both the size of flash card and outline of the visuals were specified. The procedure of the experiment consisted of the following steps: creation of flash cards and their expert validation; preliminary try-out of the use of three visual code flash cards as an efficacy study in the classroom; and writing a protocol for the use of visual code cards for use with differently abled.

The paper describes the details of the process of pedagogical experiment discusses its usefulness in self-development of teachers and their contribution in bridging the gap between theory and practical to convert education of the disabled into education therapy.

The keywords around which the paper has been developed are the dual coding, educational therapy, pedagogical experiment, language development, special needs, visual symbols.

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