Just Because Your Child with Special Needs Can Talk, It Doesn’t’ Mean He or She Can Communicate!
You know how to talk, I know how to talk, but have you ever had to explain yourself because you didn’t communicate well?
Have you ever had to apologize because something you said didn’t come out the way you intended? Exactly! We’ve all experienced that!
So the big question here is why do we expect that our children with special needs who can talk, should also be able to communicate everything they need to?
We cannot be surprised that these verbal children may still have behaviors!
As we approach the end of the school year with summer months ahead, we need to remember that our kids need some extra help and their behaviors will let us know when.
You know that I’m going to keep sending this message out there!
When a child has a behavior, instead of just saying something like this. “Oh Jake is hitting people again”. Put this mantra in your head. Ask yourself, “What is this child trying to tell me?”
Use the magic whiteboard!
When a child displays a behavior, tell them “nice hands, use your words”, then actually GIVE them the words via TEXT or PICTURES using YOUR BEST GUESS of what the child is trying to say.
For example if a student starts screaming when another child walks by with a favorite toy. You can say, “Quiet voice, use your words” then give the child options on a white board or pictures that could give these three possibilities:
- “I want that toy, please”
- “That’s mine, please put it back”,
- “It’s not time to play, we need to have snack first”
Even if you have to use hand over hand and encourage the child to make a choice of the communication options, at least you have begun to create a bond of TRUST.
If a child TRUSTS that your option of using words vs. behavior will get them what they want or need, they’ll start to use their communication skills rather than their behavior.
So to recap: Remember these three things:
1. Ask yourself, “What is this child trying to say with this behavior?”
2. Remember that they may not have the words to communicate, so give them the words using your best guess.
3. Build a bond of TRUST that you will get to the bottom of what they want as long as they use their communication
skills rather than their behavior.
Behavior Communicates! Now you know what to do!!
Thank you for joining me here at Behavior Communicates where you can create a life for you and your child where you both get what you want and need.