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Improving Communication Skills

Overview

Communication is key to human interaction.  Children and adults with communication issues often lack the information and/or skills to communicate effectively which can lead to a variety of social and behavioral difficulties.  This section is designed to target some of the most basic functions of communication that need individualized, direct instruction and support.

It is important to recognize that for individuals with communication disorders, these skills generally are not “picked up” over time by watching others.  Instead, they should be systematically addressed by offering the student a chance to understand the purpose for the skill and teaching the steps to take in order to execute the skill.  The use of graphic organizers and other visual aids can be extremely helpful in making this abstract concept more concrete and easier to understand.

For those of us that do not have communication difficulties, we often take for granted just how difficult it can be to learn and generalize these types of skills.  Practice of the skill in a variety of situations with various people will offer the student a chance to master their communication skills and promote confidence that may lead to using these skills more independently.