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Children with Special Needs

Click on the links below to read about many strategies to improve the communication skills of children with special needs.

Total Communication
This is a holistic view of communication, often using a range of modalities or even thinking “outside the box” to create a system of communication that works for an individual. This fact sheet discusses the Total Communication approach and provides examples of a number of different hi-, and lo-tech communication devices.


Key Guidelines to Creating a Total Communication Environment
Many individuals experience difficulties with communication, but there are many key things we can do as communicators to facilitate the process and make communication easier. Building a total communication environment means making subtle and simple changes to our communication and environment so that we can improve interaction and understanding.


Minimal Speech Approach
It is common for many people to use too much language when talking to, or giving instructions to individuals with autism. Using the minimal speech approach can increase understanding and reduce challenging behaviour.


Intensive Interaction
Non-verbal individuals who have major learning difficulties or “severe” autism are often very difficult to interact with. Not only do they have major difficulties understanding, but may also be unable to express their own needs or feelings. Intensive interaction provides a way to make a connection with an individual, create an enjoyable exchange, reduce challenging behaviour, and develop communication skills.
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