The ability to communicate with others involves a surprising number of skills and importantly, the opportunity and motivation to communicate. The child’s age and stage of development must also be taken into account.
The range of skills include:
Taking information in through the senses, listening and understanding
- Attention and listening
- Interpret facial expressions and tone of voice
- Remembering spoken information
- Recognising the difference between sounds in words
- Understanding individual words
- Understanding words in connected speech
- Understanding what someone means in a situation, including expressions such as ‘ get your skates on’ to mean hurry up.
- Having ideas about how to respond/what to say
Expressing yourself and responding -this may be through talking, facial expression, body language, signing, symbols
- Deciding how to respond/what to say
- Choosing words
- Putting words together to talk
- Talking or joining in with a conversation appropriately
- Making the mouth and tongue movements necessary to form clear sounds
- Speaking clearly and smoothly without too many stops and starts
These skills can be represented in a communication chain.