ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO MAKE A REQUEST Why encourage your child to make a request? Some children will not be able to say words and some will be able to say words but don’t have any ‘need’ to talk because their wishes and needs are met without needing to talk. This can happen more often when a child has a closely aged sibling. The child may rely on using gesture or grunting which the sibling interprets. If the child is one of twins, the twins can develop their own communication system. When a child relies on something other than talking to communicate: • They may ‘request’ items by pointing and or accompanying this pointing with a vocal sound, e.g. ‘uh’. • Parents/carers respond to this pointing or grunting because they ‘know’ what the child wants. • When others are caring for the child, these other adults often do not have the same understandings that the parent has. There is lack of understanding and communication and this can be frustrating for both the child and the adult. Once a child is starting to use sounds or words to talk, adults should: • Expect the young child to vocalise as near to the name of the item as is possible for the child - even if it is only the first sound or an approximation of the word i.e. ‘ju’ or ‘u’ when trying to say ‘juice’. Or, ‘mik’ when trying to say ‘milk’. • Use the correct name of the item - avoid copying the child’s attempts. For example, ! If the child says: “ju ju”, the adult says: “Juice. I’ll get your juice” or “Juice. Here’s your juice”. ©"ROCKET"2"SCHOOL"2012" ! Page"1" ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO MAKE A REQUEST Offer toys in containers with a tight lid so the child has to ask for assistance or say, “Open.” or “Open please.” Use toys that require asking an adult to help: Blowing bubbles Wind-up toys Squeaky toys (e.g. need pressing or squeezing to sing/dance) Balloons Music boxes - Jack-in-the-box; wind up e.g. dancing monkey Spinning tops Mirrors Offer things bit by bit – (Small piece of fruit at a time, rather than whole plate) • Give the child everything but the one item they need to complete the task – e.g. withhold the spoon to eat with, the paintbrush to paint with. • • • • • • • • Put a child’s favourite things where they can see them, but where they can’t reach them. • e.g. toy, food ! ©"ROCKET"2"SCHOOL"2012" ! Page"2"
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