The wonderful Victoria, our college SENCO has taken up residence this week in our blog news! This week she is sharing some thoughts on a podcast she has been listening to on Developmental Language Delay
Developmental Language Delay is a communication disorder often co-habiting with Autism, Global delay, Down syndrome, etc. You may have heard it called Specific Language Impairment (SLI) but it has changed recently to reflect the condition. I think specific alludes that the issue is with one specific area and this is not always the case.
I have attached an info sheet from a podcast at the bottom of this post if you wanted to find our more. Having listened to the podcast and read through the DLD information sheet I thought I would just highlight some communication tips I think are helpful.
Young people with special educational needs may struggle with communication; they may have fewer opportunities to interact with others and practice their skills. This is where we come in, and some of these ideas might be useful:
Obvious, but true. Young people are far more likely to be interested in an interaction if it’s fun. There’s no better motivation for someone to listen and communicate.
Often we do so much for our young people that they don’t need to communicate. That’s where organised sabotage helps!
Put objects in a place where they need to ask for them, or purposely leave out a missing item (give them a puzzle but without the pieces) Find ways to design situations to create the need for communication.
When we sit on the same level, playing and talking are easier!
Think creatively and prepare in advance; you could try giving young people a ball of pizza dough, for example, and have a pizza-making lunch. All young people tend to love all special needs “kit”, sensory features, trampolines and so on, so let them get stuck in!
Ask the SALT for a list of new keywords that will be introduced into the classroom for the next term!
Young people learn lots of words from comments like, “Look, the dog is playing with a ball; it’s like your ball!” Their vocabulary isn’t expanded in the same way by too many questions or demands like “What’s the dog playing with?” or “Who is playing with the ball?”
The key to communication and learning is motivation. Think about what the young person enjoys doing and plan conversations around it. If they have a special interest, use that to encourage communication.
Articulate is a great game to help improve vocabulary. Put some words on cards and place them on the table. Then pick up a card and describe the word without saying it. The other player must guess the word correctly.
Kind Regards, Victoria Turner
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator