Language comprehension and expression may develop at different rates in different people. Some children's ability to understand what is said to them and to produce verbal/non-verbal language may be at the same level. Some children are able to understand much more than they can express verbally or non-verbally.
In learning to comprehend language, some children may utilize what they hear as a primary learning source. Others may learn best from a combination of sensory input, hearing, seeing, touching, etc. As a general rule, it is best to provide a language-rich environment that supports multi-sensory learning and multidimensional communication.
In supporting the development of expressive communication, particularly in persons with developmental disabilities, we must be aware of the non-verbal techniques that are utilized in effective communication. They may include:
- Eye contact
- Natural body language
- Changes in tone of voice, indicating pleasure, distress, or anger, etc.
- Facial expressions
- Body movements (posture, etc.)
- Simple gestures (pointing, reaching, waving)
- Behavioral changes (variations in daily patterns of eating, sleeping, etc; changes in mood, affect, temperament)
- Sign language
- Picture communication boards
- Computerized communication systems
Your skills in listening and observing are critical in three ways:
- Validating the person's communication mode
- Understanding and responding to the person's message
- Facilitating and expanding the person's communicative experience
|< Prev||Next >|