Non-verbal/Pre-verbal pupils

"Using the strategies and tools that you know are successful with that pupil…it is important that they also have access to emotion words within the context of their grief."

All pupils need the opportunity to express their feelings and have their grief recognised. As their level of communication and cognitive ability may differ, it is important to have strategies to help them show their understanding about what has happened and how they are feeling.

Ensure that the pupil’s AAC (augmentative and alternation communication) system (electronic communication aid, sign language, symbols, pictures, objects etc.) includes the necessary words to support their bereavement such as: died, dead, funeral, feelings etc. Pupils need to be taught these words and see/hear them in use using their preferred modes of communication.

A multi-sensory approach can support many pupils but can be particularly helpful for non-verbal young people. This could include using a sensory memory box to help them remember or banging a drum to express their anger.