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Increasing functional communication

There are many strategies out there to help kids work on increasing and improving communication skills, but how do we make sure they are learning a functional language?

We often think of communication as spoken words and phrases, but there are so many ways in which we communicate daily. Think of the moment when your partner asks you “what’s for dinner” after a full day of work and taking care of the kids. I am sure your body language might communicate a different message than the words you say…

We learn from a young age to look out for various ways people and animals communicate - when a dog growls, we take caution, when a person shouts at us while crossing a road, we look for danger. We need to remind ourselves that our children also communicate in different ways and often these are initially easier than verbal speech.

Contrary to popular belief, if you provide more than one way for your child to communicate, their verbal speech will also increase. Think of it this way - you are reducing the amount of pressure on one mode of communication and offering more ways for your child to provide their message to you effectively. If there is less pressure on your child, they will be more likely to engage and explore various modes of communication.

In this week's video guide, we look at three ways in which you can help your child increase their functional communication - with practical tips on how to incorporate these into daily life.


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Our video guides are created by experts in the field of neurodiversity and include parent-led strategies that improve communication skills, coping skills, independence, challenging behaviors, and many more.

🔍 To find this week's full video guide, "Increasing functional communication", you can use the following tags to search our library: communication, increase communication, autism, ADHD, social skills, independence.


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📈Tracking tools

Wouldn't it be interesting to see whether challenging behavior decreases on the days when your child communicates easier?

Keep track of your child's mood (or their behaviors) as well as their efficiency with the mode of communication they use…and let's see what it tells us!

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