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Functional Communication Training For Parents

By Douglas Myers

Children use the basic levels of communication. Their gestures, words and emotions are raw. They communicate about what they feel or want in their unique ways. Some of these gestures and messages are difficult to understand. This is why functional communication training for parents is so important. It helps the adults to decipher what children under their care want in order to provide.

Good communication is important to guardians and parents because it helps to strengthen the relationship between parents and their children. However, it is even more important for parents or guardians whose children require special care because of such conditions as ADHD and autism. The children find it difficult to pass their messages and therefore require new avenues to communicate.

Children also need to be taught to communicate functionally. This is only possible to a small group of children considering their ages and ability to understand. However, a parent can slowly impart this knowledge to their children, albeit with a lot of patience. By teaching these children about this way of communicating, you provide them with an alternative way of making their needs and demands known. They will also be saved from frustration that arises from inability to achieve mutual understanding.

Children with challenges communicating should be handled by a speech therapist. It is the parent or guardian who alerts the pathologist. The pathologist begins by evaluating the capability of the child since each one is unique. Difficulties between children vary and their solutions will be equally diverse. The pathologist identifies the unique challenges facing your child and proposes specific solutions.

Naturally, human beings communicate using words, gestures and body language. For children with delayed milestones, the challenge is on one of these avenues. The pathologist will identify the next best alternative that will still deliver desired results. At the initial stages, the focus is to get communication going. Pathologists identify a hierarchical order in which means of communicating are arranged.

Children begin communicating by using gestures and body language. They will point at the objects they want or move the body in that direction. In other cases, they cry or are agitated while pointing in the direction. Where they do not want something, they will pull the body in the opposite direction and resist any attempt to be associated with the object. Other methods that can be used to communicate include picture exchange, sign language and adoption of customized voice output devices.

The trainer, in most cases the guardian or parent needs to identify easy new words to teach to the child. Parents and guardians are preferred because they have the confidence and trust of the children beyond spending more time with them. They should be taught through a combination of channels like gestures and sounds. Beyond that, present an opportunity or temptation for the kid to use the new word or gesture. This serves are a practical learning moment.

Children with special needs learn at a slow pace and will therefore take time to communicate. Since you are not sure of the words that will be easy to learn, interchange them and try new ones from time to time. Appreciate the uniqueness of each child during training and be conscious to avoid frustration or the wrong approach. Over time, you will achieve the results you desire.

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