Verbal communication ‘ Speak with simple sentences and commands, don’t overload individuals. Some individuals may have their own way of saying things, so getting to know the individual is very important. Some may not be able to express their feelings easily, so having that knowledge about them can make it easier for them to speak, and also will reassure them they are being heard/ understood. Don’t raise your voice or get frustrated if they are struggling, if required use more of a directive tone if needing to reinforce boundaries or instructions.
‘Non-verbal communication ‘ Using British Sign Language (BSL) or simplified sign such as Makaton. This replaces or goes alongside speech to help the individual to understand and see what is being asked or told to them. Individuals may also be able to use these signs to ask for what they want or where they want to go etc’ Being taught this from a young age can help set the individual up in the future to have more success with understanding how to communicate, and others communicating with them. Other ways can include using picture signs to relate to instructions, places and items, either the individual or others can use these, again alongside speech. These can be simple or complex depending on the individuals understanding. Now with all the technology around there are plenty of resources individuals can access to help with non-verbal communication from apps on phones, computers and tablets, specialist communication devices, communication passports that go with the individual so others can read and know how to they communicate. If individuals are unable to use these methods, watching for physical signs of communication is another way for them to communicate, using their eyes, head movements, pointing, moving carers/ others hands towards something. If the individual can create some noises or sounds listening to those to try and recognise if it is a happy or unhappy noise/ sound. Also offering a simple yes or no communication system, this way the individual can respond to given questions and give their desired answer.
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