Sign language isn’t the only mode Koko uses to communicate with her caregivers. She’ll often uses a pen to select choices for food, enrichment or comfort from a pre-printed sheet, or sketch (or write the word for) something that she might want or be interested in. Sometimes Koko takes a while to consider her choices, and other times she’ll know and express herself immediately. Having multiple means for expressing yourself — signs, phrase cards or sheets, art and movie and book selections, all help Koko convey her needs, wants, thoughts and feelings.
Koko Ponders her Choices
Photographer: Ron Cohn