By Sally Merrison & Andrew Merrison, first published in 2003.
What is it?
Merrimaps is an assessment and therapy resource for Pragmatic Language Skills (difficulties using language in a social context).
The resource enables therapists, teachers and learning support staff to objectively assess, profile, support and monitor the communication skills of children (over seven years old), young people and adults who have difficulties understanding spoken language (for example following directions or knowing how to ask for clarification or more information to help them to understand). Merrimaps promote active listening.
The resource is equally useful for children, young people and adults who have difficulties using spoken language (for example giving directions, self-monitoring, know when someone has understood them and/or know how the change a given direction). Merrimaps provides assessment materials and separate examples to use as an intervention or for on-going support.
The supporting adult (therapist/teacher/parent/learning support staff) describes a route on their map (from a script of 16 directions). The ‘listener’ has that same map but lacks the route so the listener has to mark the route onto their own map and ask questions if they want more information or clarification. Some of the scripted directions are inadequate or ambiguous. How does the ‘listener’ respond? Do they admit to not understanding, do they ask for help, are they specific about the additional information they need? This is about promoting active listening.
The resource can be used by two children/young people or adults too, as one takes on the role of ‘speaker’ who describes their own route and the other takes on the role of ‘listener’ and follows the route on their map. This can be incorporated in a barrier game type activity so it is fun and yet the ‘players’ are learning.
What does it consist of?
A4 Manual (24 pages) describing administration and scoring of the assessment (including photocopiable Profile of Pragmatic Skills chart).
2 x Trial maps which can be printed in colour or black and white. Files are given for A4 and A3 printing.
12 x A3 Maps - 6 for assessment and 6 for therapy/on-going support. The 6 x ‘therapy’ examples can be used as many times as you want. All the maps can be printed in colour or black and white. Files are given for A4 and A3 printing.
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