We use a number of strategies to support our pupils with their communication, interaction and engagement in learning.
You may like to try using some of these at home with your child.
Intensive Interaction: Is a strategy used to support communication and interaction with the children.
Intensive interaction requires time given solely to your child, focusing on their attempts to communicate. It is not dissimilar to how you would communicate with a very young infant.
You may begin by imitating sounds or actions that your child has made, leaving gaps in the 'conversation' for a reply. The interaction may last 5 minutes or 50, the aim is to support your child to sustain interaction.
Other benefits may include having fun, and enjoying being with others, sharing personal space, giving and receiving touch, the ability to share attention with others, taking turns with others so that communication can take place, starting to use movement and noises with meaning.
You might like to set aside a few periods of time throughout the day solely for the purpose of using intensive interaction with your child.
Creating an enabling environment
It can sometimes be tempting to help your child engage in their learning, and achieve goals using methods such as hand over hand support.
In Jasmine class we try our best to ensure the environment enables our pupils to engage in their learning with independence. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved:
Access and support: Ensuring you child is positioned in such a way that makes access to resources easier for them is key. This may mean that being positioned in a chair is good for one activity, but that lying on their side might be more beneficial for another - if you aren't sure experiment with different positions to see what works best.
Some objects may be too heavy or your child may need support to access the objects initially. We find a prompt from the elbow so that hands are able to move more freely supports some of our pupils.
You could also try using a 'hand under hand' approach for pupils who are reluctant to touch - so that they are still able to experience the movement or stimuli but may not necessarily touch yet.
Observation: Look for the most active part of your child, and move your resources in response to where your child is showing intention to 'do'
Non-directive offer: try holding stimuli you would like your child to experience out towards them, to see whether they might reach out for them. For some pupils this may look like a small movement with their hand or foot.
Objects that stimulate the senses: try offering a range of different stimuli which are interesting to all the senses. This becomes of high importance if your child has a visual or hearing impairment.
Placement of objects: Experiment with placing objects on various body parts, and look at how your child reacts and what they do with the objects.
Modelling: Try playing with the stimuli yourself. By playing with the material near your child, it may become interesting and exciting for them.