3 Easy Ways for Children with Special Needs to Improve Communication Skills
Do you have a child with special needs? One of the most important things about raising special children is that they learn how to communicate. This includes non-verbal communication, such as reading body language and tone of voice. But sometimes, this can be difficult for children with special needs.
It can be difficult for children with special needs to understand what others are trying to communicate. This is because they may not know how people feel through their tone of voice or body language, which means that it’s easier for them to misinterpret other people’s words and actions as hostile.
To help your child learn communication skills, you’ll need patience and empathy when teaching him/her about this essential life skill! You won’t always have the right answer, but being there will make all the difference in the world. Remember: slow down, speak clearly, and use simple sentences, so your child has a better chance at understanding what you’re saying.
1) Acknowledge Your Child’s Communication Attempts – When your child tries to talk, acknowledge what they said or tried to say before moving on. For example, if they point at something and say “uh-huh,” don’t ignore them by saying “yes” or asking another question–instead, ask them what it was that caught their eye first, so you know where to focus next time!
2) Play Games – Games like Pictionary or Charades are excellent ways to introduce vocabulary words while also practicing non-verbal communication skills. The more practice they get, the better their language comprehension becomes- so it’s important to keep having fun with these games!
3) Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices – When children with special needs have trouble communicating, they often get frustrated, and their behavior can be difficult to manage. One of the best ways for kids to improve communication skills is by using AAC devices. AAC devices allow children with speech difficulties or autism spectrum disorder to communicate through an iPad or other device.
4) Use Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Cards or App – This can be done by taking pictures of things that interest them, such as favorite foods or activities, and then placing them all over their bedroom so that when they feel like communicating, they can point to one of those pictures instead of having to try to speak. PECS app can be downloaded on a gadget, take some pictures of things, and then have the child point on his/her iPad or another device to get information about what they are looking at.
5) Use of Social Stories – A social story is a short narrative about a specific situation that provides step-by-step instructions on how the child should behave or react to get what they want from experience. The story usually begins with a description of the situation and then provides information on what to expect and possible reactions. This approach is most often used for children who have autism spectrum disorders or other cognitive disabilities.
6) Get Your Child Involve in Household Chores – Children with special needs also need to feel like they are not that different, and they can be empowered to do some chores that normal people can do. In addition, getting your child involved in household tasks helps them improve their communication skills while doing something useful at home. For example, you can get your child involved in preparing his/her favorite dish, such as preparing the ingredients for your tasty roasted chicken for dinner and turning the oven on.
7) Encourage Your Child To Tell You Stories – Encourage them to tell you stories from their perspective using gestures and sounds if necessary. Encourage children to speak for themselves by asking them questions about their day. Give them time to answer questions – don’t rush them through an entire sentence before they finish talking. Allow them to have their own voice and let them speak when they want to share something. This helps them to improve their communication skills while also bonding with you.
8) Use A Whiteboard For Your Child To Write And Draw On – Whiteboards allow children to express themselves without having to worry about making a mess. Whiteboards can be very helpful for children with special needs who are struggling with their communication skills because they don’t have to expend the energy of drawing or writing on a surface that’s not easy for them. One way you might want to integrate whiteboarding into your home is by placing one in the kitchen so that while you’re cooking together, he/she can help measure out ingredients and draw pictures of what they think will happen next during dinner prep.
Some children with special needs may have a difficult time communicating due to their disabilities. However, there are many things that parents and caregivers can do to help improve communication skills for these kids. We’ve compiled 8 easy ways children with special abilities or disabilities can communicate better in the home, school, or community setting. Which of these tips do you think will work best for your child? Let us know!