Speech and Language Therapists and other professions involved with the development of communication sets using symbols and pictograms have tended to use core vocabularies with supplementary words being added as required.
As a way of looking at three symbol dictionaries that are freely available I have taken words from the set developed by Gail Van Tatenhove and available from Prenkte Romich Company as a PDF download of ‘100 Frequently Used Core Words’ These are gathered from users of English in the United States of America and this is just to provide an example of the variations in the types of symbols available.
It is possible to carry out this type of comparison using Picto-Selector – a free small Windows / MacOS program that can be downloaded from the project website. This program also allows you to see all the images in one area with choices of several other small dictionaries of images.
References used by Prenkte Romich
Banajee, M., DiCarlo, C. & Stricklin , S. (2003). Core Vocabulary Determination for Toddlers. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 67-73.
Beukelman, D., Yorkston, K. & Naranjo, C. (1984). 500 most Frequently Occurring Words Produced by Five Adult AAC Users, Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 49, 36.
Brown, R. (1973). A First Language: The Early Stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Marvin, C., Beukelman, D. & Bilyeu, D (1994). Frequently Occurring Home and School Words from Vocabulary – Use Patterns in Preschool Children: Effects of Context and Time Sampling,
Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 10.
Van Tatenhove, G. (2005). Normal Language Development, Generative Language & AAC. revised October 2007 http://www.vantatenhove.com (accessed 4th February, 2014)
Van Tatenhove, G. (2009). The Pixon Project Kit. Wooster, OH: Prentke Romich Company.
Dolch Sight Words. See http://www.dolchsightwords.org/ (accessed 4th February, 2014)
Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP). See www.AACandAutism.com (accessed 4th February, 2014)