Posts

communication skills for kids

Communication Skills for Kids

The development of appropriate and strong communication skills spans from infancy to adulthood. Additionally, being a good communicator includes a vast arrays of skills. Often the people who are classified as strong communicators are the people that are not only good at expressing their own thoughts and ideas, but those who are even better at being a good listener. Although developing your own communication skills takes time, there are ways that as parents or caregivers you can help your child on his or her own way to being a strong communicator.

Often, the best way to teach communication is to model what you want your child to be doing. When talking with others demonstrate the skills of a strong communicator.

Ways to Model Communication Skills for Kids:Communication Skills for Kids

  • Speak slowly and with an appropriate speaking volume.
  • Demonstrate how turns are taken within a conversation, rather than speaking at the same time or interrupting others.
  • When it is your turn to listen, exhibit active listening skills – make eye contact with the speaker, face your body towards the speaker and respond with the appropriate comment/question.
  • Provide opportunities for others to express their own thoughts and ideas. This can be done in both a formal (i.e., at the dinner table) or informally (i.e., during a casual conversation).

If you wish to take on a more direct form of teaching your child strong communication skills, start with the most concrete skills – body language. When a conversation partner demonstrates appropriate body language, he or she is demonstrating that the conversation is important to them and that they are listening. These skills include: eye contact, body orientation (i.e., facing the speaker), and having quiet hands/feet. These skills can be taught through visuals or videos and by displaying these behaviors. Once a child has mastered these basic communication skills, higher level skills can be built off of this foundation.

Click here to read about early warning signs for communication disorders.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

help for a speech and language disorder in the classroom

Improving the Self-Esteem of Children with Speech and Language Disorders in the Classroom

Building up a child’s self-esteem is important for all children within typical development, however this may require special attention for children with speech and language disorders. Self-esteem is important as it affects how a person feels about themselves and ultimately how they behave and act.

For a child with a speech or language disorder, maintaining a high self-esteem may be difficult.help for a speech and language disorder in the classroom

In a study completed by Jerome, Fujiki, Brinton and James, it was found that children with specific language impairments have a significantly lower perception of themselves than their typically developing peers by the age of 10 (2002). This difference in self-esteem was especially evident in the areas of academic competence, social acceptance and behavioral skills. Being aware of a child’s vision of their own self-worth is important for all adults in a child’s life – parents, teachers, clinicians, etc. Low self-esteem could have a negative impact on a child’s social relationships, mental health and academic performance.

The classroom offers a unique and accessible environment to provide a child with positive interactions to improve his or her self – esteem.

Here are some simple tips to implement during your daily classroom life which may have a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem:

  • Make time for one on one interactions with the child. Demonstrate that you are actively listening. Maintain eye contact and acknowledge what the child says. These are important components of listening.
  • Provide positive praise for things the child does, whether the actions or big or small.
  • Educate other students on speech and language disorders. As a teacher, you could hold a peer educational day in order to increase children’s understanding of their peers.
  • Be a role model for other students by demonstrating how to communicate with someone who at times may be difficult to understand. Try to concentrate and be patient with the child. Set up positive social interactions between the child and an appropriate peer.
  • When possible try to decrease frustrations for the child by eliminating distractions and giving the child enough time to communicate. Speak with his or her speech-language pathologist to better understand the errors the child typically makes when communicating. Importantly, try not to finish the child’s sentences, rather than letting the child speak for him or herself.

If a child’s low self-esteem is judged to be significantly interfering with a child’s ability to perform in academic and social situations, additional steps should be taken. Observing a speech-language pathologist interact with the child may provide further suggestions for successful communication. Contact a social worker through North Shore Pediatric Therapy for additional support.



Reference: Jerome, A. C., Fujiki, M., Brinton, B., & James, S. L. (2002). Self-esteem in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 700 – 714.