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Using one symbol set for different purposes


It’s not necessary to use every symbol in each topic set to have a successful conversation. The Talking Mats symbol sets have a range of options, some concrete and some abstract (more difficult for some to understand)  You don’t need to use every symbol in your set!

People have found the Work/Education set in the Health and Wellbeing resource useful around times of transition from senior school or when finishing college. It is  also valuable as a tool to support a person’s thinking during the process of applying for jobs.  The symbols support these 2 aspects of work and education and are taken from the WHO ICF section on Major life areas[1].  For more information here’s a link to an earlier blog about the ICF.


When asking someone to think about different kinds of work, suggested top scales are  like/not like or important/not important.  The choice is dependent on what you want to find out and what level of understanding the thinker has.

If the person is then pursuing options, there are different symbols to cover the aspects involved in this. e.g. application and interview.  A different top scale  managing /not managing ensures useful information is gained.

Each topic set can be broken down into what matters to that person at that moment in time, and using different top scales results in getting different information.

This set is available to purchase in both digital form and symbol cards



[1] ICF International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health –World Health Organization p164-167