touch made in a consistent manner directly on the body to communicate
with a child.
communicate a variety of purposes (e.g., request, information,
praise, greeting). Touch cues may reduce startle or inappropriate
behaviors by helping the child anticipate what is about to happen.
Touch cues signal the communicators intent.
one side of the childs mouth means "Get ready to
the childs right shoulder means "I like that."
the back of the childs hand means, "Here I am."
the childs hair means "I am going to brush your hair."
a child has a severe neurological impairment, the type and
placement of touch must be carefully selected. In most cases,
a touch cue that is firm is more effective than a light stroke.
The childs physical and occupational therapist should
cues should be easy for the child to discriminate from other
physical contact (e.g., when being positioned).
cues are easy to develop and do not require formal instruction.
child does not need motor skills to receive touch cues.
cues can be individualized for each child.
cues support a childs communication and participation
in familiar routines (e.g., a caregiver can give a child a touch
cue, then pause and wait for the child to indicate readiness
or anticipation of the next step in the routine).
use of touch cues may be uncomfortable for the communication
partner and the receiver because of differences in their age,
gender, relationship, culture and experiences.
cues are limited to receptive communication and in the types
of messages that may be conveyed (e.g., letting the child know
what is about to happen, providing comfort, providing praise
or making a request).
cues may not be used consistently or made in the same way by
everyone who interacts with the child.
cues that are selected poorly or used inappropriately may startle
or confuse the child.
Cues represents a synthesis of information from Project
SALUTEs focus groups, National Advisory Committee, staff
activities, and a review of relevant literature such as the