We all use many ways to help in understanding and communicating things other than just using the spoken word.
A Communication Friendly Environment (also know as a Total Communication Environment) builds on these natural ways to support a child’s communication development.
Here are some examples of how we communicate without words:
- Facial expression – a smile tells your child you are pleased with them
- Tone of voice – use a soft, low voice to calm and sooth a hurt child
- Pointing /looking – you can show where something is by pointing or looking at it
- Gesture/ action – holding your arms out to say ‘ let’s have a hug’ or pretending to have a drink to say it’s drink time
- Using real objects – showing food/ drink or toys to choose from
- Pictures/ symbols – red man/ green man shows when to cross the road, recognising the McDonalds logo!
Why do we need a communication friendly environment?
- To help children to understand things that are said to them
- To help you to understand what your child is telling you
- To help to reduce frustration, anxiety or challenging behaviour caused by not understanding the spoken language they hear.
- To support attention and listening skills