Communication 101 – Initiating

ACKNOWLEDGING VS. HONORING COMMUNICATION

Student engages in a communicative behavior

Is the request reasonable?

                                                            ⇒ Yes – honor the request

No

Acknowledge the request (“So, you want to go outside?” and offer an alternative plan (“Finish this puzzle, then we can go outside” o”Its raining, we can’t go outside, what else can we do?)

Initiating communication is a big hurdle for children with low language abilities.  It is important to always acknowledge the attempts, even if you cannot honor the request.  By doing this, you are teaching the concept of communication – an interaction between two people that results in something gratifying.  At its most basic, primitive level that gratification comes in the form of something tangible.  That is why it is important to attempt to reward to request.  Sometimes, that is not possible, but make every effort to let your child know they are heard.

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