Make a list (in note form) of some of the techniques you have developed to enable you to communicate effectively with the CYP you work with. OR Write a brief account of some work you have done in the past two years with a YP who had communication problems,which were not due to a disability. Ensure the YP could not be identified from your account, by changing some personal deatails. Good communication is central to working with children, and young people, It is a fundamental part of the Common Core. It involves listening, questioning, understanding and responding to what is being communicated by the CYP‘. It is important to be able to communicate both on a one-on-one basis and in a group context. Communication is not just about the words I use, but also my manner of speaking, body language and, above all, the effectiveness with which I can listen. To communicate effectively it is important to take account of culture and context, for example where English is an additional language.
Effective engagement requires me to involve the CYP’s in the design and delivery of services and decisions that affect them. It is important for me to consult with them and consider their opinions and perspectives from the outset. A key part of my effective communication and engagement is trust, both between the workforce, children and young people. To build a rapport with the CYP’s , I understand that it is important for me to demonstrate understanding, respect and honesty. Continuity in relationships promotes engagement and the improvement of their lives.. * I am always aware that the CYP may not have understood what I have communicated * I Know that communication is a two-way process
* I Know how to listen to people, make them feel valued and involved, and know when it is important to focus on the individual rather than the group. * I am aware of different ways of communicating, including electronic channels, and understand barriers to communication. .
* I Know how to report and record information formally and informally in the appropriate way. I listen and build empathy by
* Developing and using effective communication systems that are appropriate to them * I Establish a good rapport and respectful, trusting relationship with the children. I Build a rapport and develop relationships using the appropriate form of communication (for example, spoken language, play, body language). * Communicate effectively with all children.
* I Hold conversations at the appropriate time and place, understanding the value of day to day contact. * I ensure I’m always aware that some children and young people do not communicate verbally and that I would need to adapt my style of communication to meet their needs and abilities. * I Understand the effects of non-verbal communication such as body language, and appreciate that different cultures use and interpret body language in different ways. * I Build open and honest relationships by respecting CYP and make them feel valued * I Actively listen in a calm, open, non-threatening manner and use questions to check understanding and acknowledge that I have heard what is being said. * I Summarise situations in the appropriate way for the individual (taking into account factors such as background, age and personality).
* I Explain clearly to the CYP what kind of information I may have to share with others. * I Explain what has happened or will happen next and check their understanding and where appropriate, their consent to the process. * I Let the child know that I am interested and involved and that I will help them if and when needed. * I Turn off the television or stop what I am doing when a child wants to talk or avoid taking a telephone call when a child has something important to tell me. * Unless other people are specifically meant to be included, I hold conversations in privacy. The best communication between myself and a child will occur when others are not around.
* I never Embarrass a child or putt them on the spot in front of others as this will lead to resentment and hostility, not good communication. * I’m aware of my height and I Don’t tower over a child. I Physically get down to the child’s level then talk. * If I am very angry about a behaviour or an incident, I don’t attempt communication until I regain my cool, because I cannot be objective until then. I have learnt that It is better to stop, settle down, and talk to the child later * If I’m very tired, I try to make an extra effort to be an active listener. Genuine active listening is hard work and is very difficult when your mind and body are already tired. * I Listen carefully and politely. I Don’t interrupt the child when they are trying to tell their story * I Don’t ask why, I ask what happened.
* If I have knowledge of a situation, I will confront the child with the information that I know or have been told. * I never use put-down words or statements: dumb, stupid, lazy: * I will Assist a child in planning some specific steps to the solution. * I Show that i accept the child for themselves, regardless of what they have or have not done * I try to Reinforce the child for keeping communication open. I Do this by accepting them and praising their efforts to communicate * I use encouraging phases especially with children diagnosed with ADHD as these children may need more praise than the average child. And Unfortunately, because of their behaviour they often receive less. It is important to communicate clearly with children, honestly stating feelings and expectations. Not only do children pay attention to our words, they also react to our tone of voice and body language as well. Because communication is a complex process, it’s important to think of the implications of what we say
Using personal experience or some information either from the seminar or a trustworthy source on the internet, describe how you have used or could use aids to communicate with YP’s who have some form of disability, and indicate the kinds of conditions you have encountered, or may encounter in your work.
Very briefly list some other aids to communicate which you could explore and utilise , should the need arise.
I have recently had experience working with a child who had a form Of a disability,( Autism)To communicate with them I used A communication passport with pictures, photographs, words and symbols to share important information about the child’s needs, interests and their ways of communicating. The child took this passport into different settings so that everyone is well informed, I.e. meetings school, club, outside activities etc. It was important for this child to be aware of who was working with them in advance so we made a photo wall, all staff members pictures were taken and placed on the wall and during the day and especially at bedtimes staff would go over the wall with the child explaining who would be working with them the following day.
I also used a pictorial book in much the same way, The child needed structure and stability and gained this from knowing exactly what would happen who with and when, In the morning I would sit down with the child before school explain who would be taking them to school; in what vehicle, what teachers they would be seeing today, what lessons they had today. What time staff would be collecting them in what vehicle and then go over in detail what they would be doing after school. Conditions I have encountered or may encounter in my work is not knowing fully if a child has understood everything I’ve communicated with them
I have learnt that People with a learning disability may appear to understand, but may actually be responding to my tone of voice, or familiar cues in the situation. They may misunderstand, forget or not catch some of what I have said. They may often say “yes” in answering questions, even if they do not fully understand sometimes because they do not want to make difficulties. They may not be able to contradict me if I have misunderstood what they mean or want. They may be bilingual, and have greater skills in one language than another. Some children may take longer to process what I am saying. Others may find physical movement or speech a big effort, so it will take them longer to respond. It is important to never over estimate the skills.
• Make sure the child can hear, see and is comfortable
• Make sure hearing aids or glasses are used if necessary, and that they work properly! • Make sure talk clear and allow the child to read lips if necessary • Use sign /gesture and pictures to back up speech
• Make sure information is presented clearly for people to see • Make sure people are positioned for good communication – seating is key • Make sure the environment is quiet and there are not too many distractions • Check out general health and comfort– are they in pain, physical difficulties, or experiencing the effects of medication (tired or sleepy). • Make sure the child can see hands and faces if signing and talking. • Give enough time for the child to listen and respond.
• Check that i have understood – by talking to others, helping the person to tell me when I have got it wrong. I don’t pretend I can understand if I really can’t! • Make sure you language is kept simple and clear.
• Gain the child’s attention before starting to talk. • Show that I respect a person’s way of communicating by using it to them. • Make sure communication books/aids are used and not stuck in a cupboard! • display good observational skills, respond to all communicative signal • Be patient and don’t give up trying
• Leave if the person is becoming agitated
Other aids to communicate
* Pictures and symbols can help
*Information can be written and presented in symbol or pictorial form.
* Pictures and photographs can be used to illustrate written material. Communication aids:
* Children can join in by pressing a switch operated aid with voice output to say, yes I agree/no, I don’t or some communication aids have more complex language *Objects of reference” can be used to cue people about what is going to happen.: play football-show them a football, show them a cup – for asking if they want a drink *Calendar boxes can be used to make object timetables of activities happening in the week
*“Memory Boxes” are collections of meaningful artefacts and photos associated with events and can be used as the basis for conversation, and to help recall. Anything can be used for this and everyday objects of natural materials are good to use with people who have sensory difficulties. * “Multimedia Profiling” is a process which creates a personal catalogue of video clips on the computer which build up a profile of an individual. The person can be in control of their own information through switch or touch screen, and can choose when and how to share it with others.
Which government websites can you use to access up to date information and evidence based examples of good practice? Give one e.g. of something you have learned from one of these websites. How will you disseminate your learning to colleagues?
Courtney from Study Moose
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