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improving communication and social skills

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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Lahore, Pakistan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:18 pm    Post subject: improving communication and social skills Reply with quote

salam 2al
i've conducted few workshops to utilize my learning and experience 4others' help. i do've sun helpful material in this regartd, i wud like 2share it with u all:
Improving Communication Skills
Things to be kept in mind while working on Communication Skills:
? Likes and dislikes of your child
? Sensory issues
? Linking your child?s issues and limitations to his actions and tantrums
? Utilizing the information around the child?s sensory issues and preferences to plan the activities
? Understanding the learning style of your child (your child could be Rote learner, Gestalt learner, Visual learner, Auditory learner or Hands on learner-keep it in your mind while planning the activities)
? Gestures, facial expressions, the whole body language is important in communication
? Getting to know about how and why your child communicates
Interaction is as important as communication; interaction happens whenever you and your child do things together and respond to each other.
How to make your child respond is really important in this regard
? Getting on your child?s level is the most important thing
? Getting attention is also really really important. For Getting your child?s attention you should keep the following things in mind
1. Physical proximity is really important
2. Getting in the child?s line of vision is also important
3. Eye contact is important but isn?t necessary
4. To get attention you have to become animated at times
5. Using visual props is helpful
6. Preparing the child about what is about to be communicated is also important
7. Pairing a verbal signal with gesture can also be helpful in getting attention
8. Gestures and body language should be used meaningfully
9. Limiting verbalization is also helpful at times
? Including WAIT TIME in interaction from both sides is really crucial and how to wait is an important question. In this regard following strategies can prove helpful
1. Count till 5,10 or 20
2. Wait expectantly
3. Stay engaged with the child while waiting
4. try having your child repeat the request or command while waiting
? Determining when to repeat the command and for how long to wait is really crucial. Your keen observation is really helpful in this regard
? Guiding or prompting the child to respond is also helpful. Using the correct prompt and using it at the right time is really crucial in this regard.
? Staying with the interaction until the desired response isn?t shown is important for strengthening the interaction
? Giving a successful end and a proper closure to the interaction is really important
The Helper?s/Teacher?s role in communication/interaction:
You can play an important in improving communication and interaction skills of your child if you keep following things in your mind:
? Providing help for communication is important but do not always do everything for your child so that he could find the need to communicate
? Ask once and wait for the response, then ask again adding help/prompts
? Persist in your attempts to join in whatever your child is doing, regardless of how meaningless his activity is
? Get some extra time for your child out of your busy routine and be patient with him
? Play some games together whenever you get the opportunity
? Reward your child?s attempts to communicate. Social encouragement/reinforcers are important in this regard
? Set goals by using your knowledge about your child. The following hierarchy can be helpful in this regard:
1. Initiating response with you and then with other children/people
2. Communicating in new ways
3. Communicating for new reasons
4. Understanding the meaning of your commands and requests
? Use your child?s learning style to achieve these goals
? Observe and learn the ways to help your child making requests or communicate
? Use people toys that encourage interaction
? Plan dramatic, innovative, silly interactive games
? Offer things/fulfil requests bit by bit
? Teach your child to say NO,HELP,STOP instead of throwing tantrums by planning activities accordingly
? Teach your child greetings through different interactive and interesting activities e.g. puppets, poems etc
? Learn the ways that encourage your child to interact or make comments. Surprises really encourage commenting, proving opportunities to make choices also encourage interaction
? Follow your child?s lead, because activities of the child?s interests and choice encourage communication more and the child also develops a sense of independency in such situation
? OWLing can really help you out in becoming a better communicative partner:
 Observe your child?s interests
 Wait for the response
 Listen carefully to your child?s sounds, words or sentences. As you learn about what your child can already say or do you can better set the goals for your child.
? Keep four I?s in mind while you are trying to become a good communicative partner:
 Include your child?s interest
 Interpret whatever your child does as if he was intentionally sending you a message
 Imitate your child?s actions to interact
 Intrude; insist on joining in on whatever your child is doing
? Interact with your child through people games. ROCK is important in this regard:
 Repeat what you say and do
 Offer opportunities to your child to take turns or respond
 Cue or prompt your child to take his turns
 Keep it fun, keep it going
ROCK is also important in your daily routine, not just an activity. ROCK is also important in musical games
? Be creative and innovative in planning interactive and fun-oriented games with your child. TICKLE TICKLE,PEEL-A-BOO, ROW-ROW BOAT, HIDE AND SEEK, JUMPING, RUNNING, CHASING, HORSEY RIDE, UP AND DOWN, RING-A-RING-A ROSES SWINGS, TUG OF WAR, BOUNCING BALLS, PILLOW MOUNTAIN are some good ideas. But you should choose games according to your child?s interests and sensory needs.
? Helping your child what you say is really important. Following things should be kept in mind in this regard
 Use visual cues
 Use shorter phases
 Exaggerate key words
 Go slow, add pauses
 Be dramatic, exaggerate expressions
? Showing is really important:
 Show with real objects
 Show with actions and gestures
 Show with pictures
 Show with printed words on the pictures
? Repeat often; increase vocabulary and understanding of new words by using a newly learnt word in different situations, activities, games etc
? Label objects, people, actions and events
? Use your child name when talking to him
? Use fun words OHO,WOW,OUCH etc
? Use visual helpers:
 Choice boards
 Picture schedules
 Communication books
 Real objects
 Drawing books
 Diaries
 Photograph books
 Feeling/expression games
 Interactive T.V time
 Video-taped modelling
 Computers

? Plan musical games with your child. Some important music tips are:
 Listen to recorded music
 Use musical instruments
 Don?t just say it, sing it
 Play musical games
? Read books together:
 Keep your child?s interest in mind while choosing books
 Choose books made up of durable material if your child chews books
 Choose books that are good for pointing, labelling and naming
 Choose interactive books
 Choose predictable books with repetitive words or phrases
 As your child?s understanding increases choose simple story books
 Choose books that help your child generalizing the word he knows or newly learnt words
 Creating a special book for child is a good idea
 Create interest and excitement for book reading
 Follow your child?s lead
 Simplify and shorten what is written
 Be animated and expressive
 Exaggerate key words
 Go slow
 Show (with real objects, pictures, words etc
 ROCK when you read
? Utilize the strength of printed words as your child start getting familiar with words
 Draw your child?s attention to the print in books, on signs or magazines
 Printed words can also be hooked around
 Use labels to categorize things
 Use labels for family members
 Point to the labels that will be meaningful for your child e.g. on snacks, cookies etc
 Write your child?s name more and more on his work
 Use labels in joint action routines e.g. making lists for ingredients of recipes and then matching the list to the items at store
 Watch T.V and video with your child encouraging reading
 Use cards and letters to help your child communicating
 Point out advertisement in magazines, newspapers and flyers. You can read movie section as well
 Read menus with pictures
 Keep working on phonics
 Keep working on generalization of newly learnt words
 Pair words with pictures
 Encourage tracing
 Encourage typing
? Planning the proper interactive toy activities and choosing the right toys for your child also encourages communication:
 Choose the right toy for your child according to his interest and level. CAUSE AND EFFECT TOYS, VISUAL-SPATIAL TOYS, CONSTRUCTION TOYS, EXCHANGE TOYS, PEOPLE TOYS, SENSORY TOYS, LARGE PLAY EQUIPMENTS can be helpful in this regard
 Develop games with rules as they are good for interaction
 ROCK while you play
 Helping and teaching your child how to play with toys is really important; provide prompts
 Act animated as cheer leaders on accomplishments
 Don?t expect two way communication in very beginning, let him master the skill first
 Don?t worry if your child is over attached to 1toy, that could be a sensory need which can be gradually moulded into a proper play

Improving social skills/helping your child making friends
Few guidelines/ideas:
Rehearse the games, songs and play routines that he will use when he interacts with other children
? Find the right friend for your child who should be a mentor for him; this could be a younger or an older child
? Add both structured and non-structured play times in your child?s play routine
? Choose the right toy and activities that encourage interaction between children
? Provide duplicate toys to a mentor peer
? Give favourite food to share, this encourages interaction
? Keep on providing support and prompts till needed and fade them appropriately
? Encourage turn taking skills and encourage the child to speak on his turn
? Bring your child to the play ground where he has comfortable environment
? Sing the songs for your child which he can sing along and perform on
? Give you child helping roles such as hading out snacks or distributing work material
? Coach the child to use socially appropriate speech; work on small phrases e.g. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME?..?MAY I?..?WHATS THAT etc
? Encourage such activities as searching for some topics and giving lectures on it (for higher level)
? Encourage working as a teacher assistant or peer mentor
? Work on generalization , teach the skill in different settings
? Do brain storming more and more, encourage discussions, T chart can be helpful in this regard
? Encourage more interactive activities like role playing, interviewing, social stories etc
? After teaching the skill encourage practicing and generalization
? Give feed back after practicing
? Teach how to welcome other children in a game or activity
? Teach when how to help others and how to seek for help
? Teach how to give compliments and how to respond to compliments
? Teach how to do healthy criticism and how to accept criticism
? Teach how to manage and cope with disagreement
? Teach how to give respect to other?s opinions
? Teach understanding expressions, feelings and body language
? Teach how to empathize with others in both positive and negative situation
Role of Accommodation and assimilation in developing social skills:
Accommodation is done when you do environmental adjustments to improve social skills of your child:
 Invite friends home and plan interactive activities
 Provide peer mentors
 Spread awareness around your child?s limitation among teachers, peers and family members appropriately
 Link up your child with children who share same interests or have same kind of limitations
Assimilation means when you develop your child?s social skills. In this regard utilize ideas given above but it requires crucial understanding that where to accommodate and where to assimilate
i hope it will be helpful 4u
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