#SENShowSeries: Supporting speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) during times of change
Join Maxine Burns, Lead Speech and Language Advisor for I CAN, as she covers some key signs to watch out for in children which may indicate they are struggling to fully understand or express their reaction to change.
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Maxine Burns' top tips
- Take time to stand back and observe children closely – in different contexts if possible. Be alert to changes in typical behaviour; then ask yourself ‘could this be SLCN?
- Give opportunities for children to air and share their concerns and emotions – whether spoken, written, drawn or role played - supporting them to express their feelings – e.g by having visual supports for emotions, or reflecting back their emotions and naming them.
- Stick to the facts and use simple language to explain change and stressful experiences to children. Don’t over-complicate it beyond a level they can understand because this may make them more anxious.
- Adults should listen more than they talk.
- Try where possible to keep some things the same to support feelings of security. Where change has been inevitable, reinforce using a range of visuals and continue to use visual support for newly established routines long past the time you would expect them to be learnt.
Find out more about I CAN at ican.org.uk.
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