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Teaching body language and non-verbal communication skills -Moondog et al

(54 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Sun 10-Feb-13 08:59:30

Ay suggestions for good sources for introducing body language and non verbal communication skills?

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:38

Thanks Ooodles. Sorry what books was that? I will certainly PM you.

I absolutely agree with you about the problem with non-verbal skills failing to develop if you don't teach them specifically. In some ways, people might think this is a small problem, but it can have a massive impact on daily life.

DS has been brilliant the last two days going into school and just watching for people's reaction to his greeting. A very small step but it has made a big difference to his mood and to those of others.

oodlesofdoodles Tue 12-Feb-13 09:35:32

I.A. the therapist who wrote the book above has worked with DS. This has given us:
=direct therapy
=homework suggestions from her
=opened our minds to what non verbal communication really is and which parts DS needs to work on
=our own ideas to promote it at home
=school have been in contact with her and it helped open their minds, which I felt was better than nothing.

PM me if you want

Agree with moosemama - you can communicate a huge amount without verbal language. The special relationship between humans and dogs is a case in point. Deaf people communicating with each other is another. IMO the problem for verbal children is they (and their supporters) keep developing more and more verbiage while their non verbal skills atrophy.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 20:56:53

Excellent article
I was sadly all too aware of this.
'It found that pupils who received intensive help from assistants made less academic progress than their peers in the core subjects of English, maths and science, calling into question the rapid expansion in TA numbers: there were 79,000 full-time equivalents in 2000, rising to almost 220,000 in November 2011.'

However don't then assume that all will improve magically when a teacher is involved. It won't. Most have terrifyingly scant knowledge of how to teach a child who is having difficulty learning.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:46

TA not becoming CT for a term?

Noooooooooo.........

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:13:10

I think though it will be necessary to have a very clear plan of action for whoever TA's DS and that is what is lacking at the moment.

It's hard to insist on things being done without a clear plan for what needs to be done.

I know Moondog is right but the reality is most of us don't have access to people like her!

TA not becoming CT for a term?

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:09:03

TA not leaving but moving sideways hopefully.

Big changes I know but CT was NQT and I think has decided its not for her.

It will be interesting to see if dynamic changes once TA is working alongside a more experienced teacher. Both teachers so far have been NQT.

phew!

Not sure if that is the solution IA but let's hope.

Though what on EARTH is happening in your school. HT leaving, CT leaving and TA leaving?

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 16:00:51

Yes, she is on the move though, so we can but hope!

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 15:49:14

Well by default you keep returning to the original issue which is that you have no faith in your TA so in that cas,e you won't be able to get change to occur.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:46:14

I agree with you both. But where to find the help needed?

I think a very proactive engaged TA would make a big difference, but so many see TA'ing as the easy option.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 15:42:59

It's bloody ridiculous, having consultant upon consultant upon consultant.
That's why i see red when people bleat about SN needing more £££ and more people. Complete nonsense. The field needs paring back to the bone so that only the useful remain. The rest just add to the problem-certainly don't address it.

Yes IA You have to PAY for someone to come in and make a recommendation that you could have made yourself, with a small percentage chance that the school might take a bit of it on board.

I don't know the answer. It's good you have a relationship I could have only dreamed of with the school, but even so, I see the struggles you are faced with and despair!

Sorry, that's probably not helpful.

Although ds has got more sophisticated in his yes/no responses as he has cottoned on fast that he needs to:

Do you love daddy? - yes
Do you love Mummy? - Not particularly

hmm

Ask him what the question was and he hasn't a clue.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:15:45

Good idea. But you need someone to recommend these things - otherwise you are just a mum asking for stuff.

School are pretty good about that generally!

It's been recommended that no-one asks ds yes or no questions in class, because 85% of the time the correct answer is 'yes' and ds has learn this as a default response to make the questioner go away.

By changing the way questions are asked, the CT can get a proper feel for how much ds is understanding.

Simple things like this cost NOTHING!

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 15:04:36

With DS, the trouble is also that he can fade so well into the background of the class that it can be difficult to see how much work people need to do with him.

If a child is getting on with their work, it is hard to see they need help with specific skills away from academics until something goes wrong, so it is all reactive. This is always the problem with him as it seems once a child is in the class and academically able, schools can think 'job done' no matter what is on the statement. Then, problems develop and everyone notices his difficulties.

But school are willing to work on what needs working on and I am going to concentrate on refocussing at his AR but I am also conscious that we need guidance on how to break his difficulties down and teach skills individually.

For example, one of the big problems is that DS just does not look around him and take in information so teaching that will be a first step alongside teaching the importance of noting body language and non-verbal communication. But, whereas I can do that naturally at home, this seems complicated at school when you don't want to make a 10 year old look different.

It means removal from class and a very clear plan of what you want to achieve and how.

I don't think that is easy for people who haven't access to professionals like yourself and your team.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 14:51:42

sad
I'll show you our new developments in the diary system which guarantee you that the person with your child really is with your child and doing what they are supposed to.

There was no point Moondog which is why my ds is now in a special school.

DS' IEP targets had to be something along the lines of 'do 10 mins language work first thing (TA there to observed by parent first thing), sit sensibly at snack time (TA comes in anyway to cover teacher break), and 'put coat on sensibly at hometime' (TA there to be observed by parent).

Illusion of TA being there all day with child, but actually in another classroom supporting a different child who the school believes 'really' need the support rather than the one who has the pushy and deluded parent.

Eventually, ds would have got a proper fulltime 1:1, because it was only a matter of time before he self-imploded, but I'm pretty sure it would have been of the babysitting variety.

IA If your ds can cope with it, many of the programmes on CBeebies have people with very exaggerated expressions and simple storylines that won't make the expressions complicated iyswim.

I'm thinking more 'Grandpa In My Pocket' than 'In the Night Garden' though.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 13:32:26

I failt to see the point of a 1:1 unless they are working with that child alone. By all means, join in and when it can be dawn, withdraw (this being the whole point-to fade prompts).

If a 1:1 in an m/s class told me thay had 'no time' to take very simple data, I would be calling a meeting with the head and talking to the parents (assuming that they could be bothered-many aren't. MN parents are not representative of parents as a whole. That is very obvious to me.)

But Moondog, it really does depend on the TAs being used as they are supposed to be.

A tally-taking job actually requires the TA to dedicate their time to the child they are charged with, at least for a period of time, instead of the more common ignoring the child until they become a pita for the CT then remove them.

I don't know how this can be changed with schools used to sharing out their TAs in this way and having got used to the budgets being used in this way.

moondog Mon 11-Feb-13 12:44:47

That's what I do already in scores of classrooms.
It's my full time job!

The MN day is an attempt to share what we are able to achieve with some basic science and organisation.

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 11-Feb-13 11:32:04

I think school would be up for this - if there was a clear plan. But how do I achieve that? Do I try ABA again? It's cost me about a grand already and school are now a bit cheesed off.

Do I try and get our SLT to develop ABA type approaches - ABA lite? How? Moondog, you should consult on these things!

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