8 Tips to help communicate more effectively with children with neurological conditions

These strategies may be useful for communicating with your child who has difficulties getting his/her message across effectively.

  1. Get down to your child’s level. Be face-to-face with your child

  2. Keep communication short and simple by using and emphasizing keywords

  3. Reduce your talking speed

  4. Augment/support your communication by using visuals (e.g. pictures), objects and/or gestures

  5. Wait for your child’s response. Give your child time to initiate communication and/or take their turn in conversation. Resist trying to finish off their sentences.

  6. Affirm and praise attempts to communicate

  7. Engage in typical conversation and/or activities whenever possible

    • Involve your child in decision making

    • Continue to provide language stimulation and teach your child new vocabulary

  8. Understand that communication can be difficult and frustrating for you and your child. When you recognise it is difficult, you may:

    • Offer 2-3 choices/helping words

    • Model what can be communicated

    • Check that you understood your child's message correctly

Ref: K21