Online Speech Therapy Telepractice

How to Be a Tuned-In Communicator
Scenario: You went to conference and gained some valuable new ideas. Thinking your colleagues would benefit from the information, you prepared a summary of the key points. You went to talk to your boss to ask to get on the agenda, but she was sitting at her desk writing. You stood before her ready to tell her the newsbut she would not look up. Finally, you said, “Excuse me”. She glanced at you, but then turned her chair to the side and started typing on the computer. Then she stated, “You missed a day of work to go to the seminar – you will need to miss the meeting this afternoon to catch up.” Of course, you started crying, but she proceeded to tell you how she’s bringing chocolate truffles to meeting. Finally she asked, “Was the seminar any good – did you have a good seat – oh how was the speaker…hey are you just getting back today…well that’s why you shouldn’t go to the meeting to day – you have been away and probably are behind on your work.” She didn’t give you a chance to speak at all so you eventually just melted out of the room. This so called interaction really made you feel insignificant and demeaned. You decide you will not try to talk to her again. You don’t even want to go to the meeting now. You tossed your papers in the recycle bin and sat in your car. Question: What could have made this interaction better? Answer: My boss could have tuned-in to me! For example: o The boss could have noticed that you were signaling an intent to communicate with her when you stood before her desk o The boss could have sat face-to-face with you o She could have appeared happy to see you and interested in what you might have to share o Then she would have known to ‘follow your lead’ since you had prepared very valuable information for your department o Your boss could have interpreted or at least acknowledged your tears o She could have paused between questions – you didn’t even have a chance to respond

TinyEYE Therapy Services 127G-116 Research Drive, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3 www.TinyEYE.com – 1.877.TinyEYE (846.9393)

Online Speech Therapy Telepractice

How to Tune In!
• Search for subtle non-verbal signs of communication o Sometimes the sociable children who are reaching, pointing, asking, telling, and jumping right in to anything that is going on are the children who receive the most interactions from the teacher and peers, because the social child spends most of his day initiating and responding. o Unfortunately, the quiet children who are reluctant to communicate in a more obvious manner may be considered a “well behaved child”. The child who has his own agenda may keep himself occupied. The passive child has minimal interest in interaction so does not initiate or respond. Unfortunately, these children will engage in fewer interactions with teachers and peers. This negatively impacts social skills, play, language, and confidence.
o

For example: A shy child stands holding her teddy bear. She is looking at you and smiling. This non-verbal communication is her way to invite you to an interaction with her.

Wait for the child to initiate or respond
o

Avoid jumping into a verbal interaction right off the start – but – be ready and interested! Learning to initiate an interaction is a key part of effective communication. If you are hoping for a child to interact with you, stay near the child and count to 10 or 20 seconds. Wait for the child to look at you, smile at you, hold out a toy, or use words to communicate with you. Then enthusiastically respond so the child learns that initiating feels good. Another trick to start an interaction is to copy what the child is doing, such as banging two blocks together or rocking a baby.

o Give the child time to explore
o

Give the child more time to respond. When you ask a question, make a statement, or request information from a child, give him plenty of time to consider the question and formulate the answer in

TinyEYE Therapy Services 127G-116 Research Drive, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3 www.TinyEYE.com – 1.877.TinyEYE (846.9393)

Online Speech Therapy Telepractice

his head before you expect him to say his response. Again, count to ten in your head before you talk again. • Make a Space for Yourself o Sit with the children at the tables (snack, manipulative area…) o Pre-prepare so that everything you need is beside you so you do not have to get up and leave o Look around the table –  Imitate their actions with the materials  Comment on what they are doing  Join in on the adventure Leave Room for Creativity o Start at a centre, such as the Play-doh and let the children explore the it for a while without cookie cutters and other props o Then, try to supply open-ended props that were not necessarily made for Play-doh, such as sticks; rocks; and beads. Let the kids make believe and see what they come up with. They will be excited to show and tell you what they have done. Be sure to respond with a comment, “That is a long snake” and maybe a question “I wonder what it eats to make it so long?” o Do not ask specific questions, such as “what is that” since they may not know yet! Position - Listen - Respond o Position yourself so you are face to face with your communication partner o Listen (or watch) closely to the child’s communication o Respond in a supportive manner o Do not directly correct children’s speech errors o Examples:

TinyEYE Therapy Services 127G-116 Research Drive, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3 www.TinyEYE.com – 1.877.TinyEYE (846.9393)

Online Speech Therapy Telepractice

Child

You

Reflect Back: That sounds fun!” Imitate: Interpret:

“I wented to the park”

“You went to the park!

“buh buh buh” (& and shake toy) “buh buh buh!” (& shake toy) “uh” (reaching arms up) “Up – you want up!” (lift up) “Blue car!” or “Fast car!” or

Expand: “Car!” “Aiden’s car”

Quiz
1. When children are creating something, it is useful to ask, “What is that?” so they can practice labeling and explaining themselves. True or false? Answer: False When children are creating, avoid asking specific questions right off the bat. The child may not know what he is making, yet. Instead, comment on their creation (Look at all the colours!), ask open ended question or statements (Tell me about this part. I wonder if your animal will make a noise…). Be patient and pause. Children need to time to think about what you say and what they might say. Watch for non verbal behaviour (eyes, gestures, expressions…) 2. When a child is speaking to you, position yourself so that you are: a. face to face b. far enough away so you don’t catch the child’s potential cold c. looking down to the child Answer: a When a child is speaking to you, position yourself so that you are face-to-face. Ideally, get down to the child’s level. Use your own non-verbal behaviour (facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, lean in, nod…) to show you are interested and listening. Use strategies such as reflecting back, imitating, interpreting, and expanding.
TinyEYE Therapy Services 127G-116 Research Drive, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7N 3R3 www.TinyEYE.com – 1.877.TinyEYE (846.9393)

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