Play and Communication for Children with Visual Impairment and Additional Support Needs
Presented on Monday & Tuesday 1 & 2 December 2008
Developing expressive gesture
Communication with young people with visual impairment and additional
complex learning needs
Royal Blind School, Edinburgh
Joint attention/shared reference
- Child sees object and attracts mother's attention
- Child directs mother's attention to object
- Object is included
- Address 'shared attention' through observation and picking up on vocal/gestural signals
- Moving twards more symbolic gesture
- Communicating 'about' should not take over from communicating 'with'
- Starting point - what is the child thinking about not what does she/he want
In the past, teaching methods relied too much on symbolic communicative systems,
viewing communication primarily as a means of delivering messages rather than
as a means of people engaging emotionally and psychologically with one another.
Rodbroe and Sourlau (2000)
Developing personal gesture
- Observation will be all important to determine:
- how someone is communicating
- what they are communicating about
- By responding consistently gestures, movements etc become meaningful
- Provide experiences - something to communicate about!
- Allow time
- Think in terms of dialogue, not question and answer
- Create the unexpected
- Offer opportunities for choice making
- Conversational (interactive exchanges)
- Start to bring bjects into an interactive exchange
- Choice making
- Sharing activities
- Recalling shared events (memories)
- Expressing feelings
Communication is not taught, it develops in cooperation with the child.
We try to be sensitive to the motivations of the child with visual impairment and alter our behaviour/attitudes/assumptions accordingly.
We need to pay attention to how we ourselves communicate, especially at an emotional level, using touch, timing and vocal intonation.