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Here are some top tips for supporting your children with their pre-intentional communication at home.
|Getting ready:||Getting familiar:||Sharing touch:|
Whatever activity you choose to offer it is helpful to start in the exact same way each time so your child knows the activity is beginning.
- Move to a specific part of the house
- Use a song at the start
- Use a scent cue at the start
- Use an on-body sign or object cue at the start
You might want to help your child manipulate some of the objects but it is also important to give them time to explore it as independently as possible.
Take things slowly. Your child needs time to work out what is happening and they will need time with each now object or sensory cue you offer to them.
These 3 simple words can help your child to learn.
When they are exploring items, you can help by just watching and waiting and seeing how they respond.
Your child’s reaction to items might be very subtle – a twitch of the lips rather than a smile, or closing their eyes for longer than usual to show they don’t like something. By watching and waiting and listening to the sounds they use you can learn a lot about how your child feels about the activities you are offering.
In time they can learn to anticipate what will happen, e.g. if they press a button/switch they know a light will come on.
It is really important to repeat the same activity lots of times.
Repeating an activity means that your child can build up their understanding about what they are exploring over time.
You will be spending a lot of time at home caring for your child at the moment and you will be very used to handling them.
If possible it can be helpful to make time for positive touchfor interaction, not just practical activities.
Building this into your routine at the same time every day, can help make some special time for both of you.