Describe the main differences between communicating with adults and communication with children and young people (3. 2) Although there are some factors of communication that should be present regardless of age or development such as respect and courtesy, as adults and teaching staff we should adapt our communication and language with who we are talking to and their age. There is a need when communicating with children and young people to be clear and unambiguous. This helps children and young people understand what we are saying and expressing as well as helping them develop language and communication skills to use for themselves.
As teaching staff when communicating with a child or young person it is important not to use too much language as the message or request could become confused and lost by the child or young person. It is important to ensure that the child or young people understand what is being asked of them and that teaching staff should ensure that this level of understanding is achieved and remember to be patient and mindful of age and development. It is also important to bear in mind that child and young people will copy adult behaviour and it is therefore imperative to model the kind of communication you would expect from them.
This is why ensuring respect, accepting contributions and differences of opinions, being polite and courteous are crucial when communicating with children/ young people and adults. Identify examples of communication difficulties that may exist (3. 3) Communication is a crucial skill and helps us express feelings, make choices and aids us in all aspects of life, there are many pupils that struggle with communication and areas of difficulty can arise for a variety of reasons. This could be due to special needs or because of attitudes and beliefs. Physical Factors
These could include speech impediments such as a stammer or more serious physical conditions or special needs which effect the ability of communication. Working in a special needs school I work with many students that are not able to verbally communicate for a number of different reasons such as severe autism, severe developmental delay and down syndrome. Although these students are fully supported and often have other ways to communicate they can often become frustrated that they cannot communicate their feelings. It also affects their independence.
Confidence Confidence could be another barrier to communication. Confidence can be developed with practise; a pupil’s self esteem is linked to feelings of self-affirmation and belonging. As teaching staff it is important to empower pupils and give them the confidence that assists communication for example this could be done by giving a pupil enough time to respond and by being sensitive. Cultural Differences There may be communication difficulties due to cultural differences. This could be created because of different expectations created by culture.
An example of this could be that a student in a school maybe part of a culture where eye contact is not encouraged this could mean that people may not pick up as many non verbal cues. Describe how to adapt communication to meet different communication needs (3. 4) It may be necessary to adapt the way in which you communicate if you are communicating with someone who has difficulties in this area. The following techniques can be used • Speak clearly and appropriately when communicating. • Slow your speech if necessary. Use visual aids such as pictures, photograph or flashcards. • Use a translator if necessary. • Use sign language. • Maintain good eye contact and use positive body language. • Use facial expressions and hand gestures. Working in a school for severely disabled young people, many of the students have communication difficulties, for many their communication skills are not representative of their age. This has meant that staff in the school have to adapt to enable the students ways to communicate their feelings/wants/needs appropriately.
Although teaching staff try to encourage speech there are other techniques that are used. For example * Makaton signing Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. * Symbols/ Visual aids/ Visual timetables Symbols can be used to re enforce a message or a request used along side speech, an example of this could be handing a student a stop sign and saying “stop” if the student was being silly.
Symbols can also be used as part of a visual timetable, these are usually used in autistic classes, symbols (or words) that represent the activities the students will be doing that day and in the correct order so they are aware of what they will be doing. * Electronic speakers Some students that are not able to communicate verbally use an electronic speaker; these are specialised computers that enable people to communicate. The user presses different buttons to communicate what they are trying to say, the speaker says the different words out loud. * PECS
Picture, exchange, communication system (PECS) is a system of communication in which the student hands symbols to an adult to request something or to communicate a feeling. It tends to be used in autistic settings and gives students the opportunity for spontaneous communication. Describe how to deal with disagreements between; * The practitioner and child/ young people There can often be disagreements between teaching assistant staff and young people. This could be because staff have to put boundaries and rules in place which the young people may not agree with.
In the case of a disagreement it is important to address the situation. The staff member should stay calm and collected and explain why they have taken the action that they have taken. In this case, of a disagreement because of boundaries the staff team should be consistent. Depending on the nature of the disagreement it may also be an idea to discuss it afterwards when everybody is thinking rationally, this could be an opportunity to talk about why it happened and how to prevent in the future. In my care setting there have been occasions that young people have targeted staff for unknown reasons.
This can be difficult for the staff, in this case it’s important to provide support as a team. The staff member may want to do activities and tasks with the young person in the future to develop relationships. * The practitioner and other adults (3. 5) It is likely that when working along side people in a work setting that there will be disagreements. This could be for a number of reasons, including poor communication or clashes of personalities and ideas, as adults we can sometimes misread situations and information given, we can also be defensive and lead by our emotions.
In these conflict situations it is important to be sensitive as well as keen to resolve the situation and soon as possible. Being open and honest about thoughts and feelings can help resolve a situation and ensure that both parties do their best to prevent it happening again. It is also important to remember that as an employee you are contracted to be professional. If employees are not able to resolve a disagreement they should refer to the schools grievance policy or procedure.
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