Ivel Valley

Objects of Reference

Objects of Reference are objects used to represent a person, activity or event. Over time the person learns that the object stands for that person, activity or event.

Objects of Reference are used to help a person understand what is happening in their environment and also be used to help people make choices. Objects help to cue your student into what is happening next.

Examples of Object of Reference:

A cup = a drink
A piece of towel = bathroom

In time the student may be able to use the objects to express themselves – e.g. make choices between two given objects to show what they want.

How do we use them?

  • We need to use them consistently; the same object needs to be used each time.
  • Keep them in a consistent place in a bag so that they are always available.
  • Right before the activity, show your student the object – let them explore it.
  • Use a key word or phrase, e.g. ‘It’s lunchtime’ when presenting the object.
  • Start the activity immediately.
  • Start by introducing 3 objects – choose activities that happen frequently for your student.
  • It takes time for students to learn what OoR are for and what they mean.
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