Social Communication Skills Therapy, which also addresses the emotional aspects, is usually done in peer groups of 2 to 4 children at our Practice or in schools and comprises of the following aspects:
1. Self Awareness and Self Esteem: The groups work on each child getting in tune with themselves and their emotions to know and value who they are; their strengths and weaknesses, what they like/dislike, qualities in themselves and others, their feelings (anxiety, anger etc) and handling them, and appreciation of the sum of who they are.
2. Body Language: This is a person’s strongest message; 55% of communication, which is non verbal, comes through your eye contact, facial expression, presentation, posture, distance and touch. The world’s best communicators have strong body language: a commanding presence reflecting confidence, competence, and charisma.
3. The Way we Talk: A person’s volume, rate, clarity, intonation and fluency (dysfluency is known as stammering/stuttering) makes up 38% of our communication. Stammering is “characterised by stoppages and disruptions in fluency which interrupt the smooth flow and timing of speech. These stoppages may take the form of repetitions of sounds, syllables or words, or of prolongations of sounds so that words seem to be stretched out, and can involve silent blocking of the airflow of speech when no sound is heard” (Enderby, 1996). People with stammers often avoid particular words, situations or try to hide their stammer. These clients require assessment and individual treatment. For more information, contact Jacqui and view: www.stammering.org
4. Conversations: The words we use surprisingly only contribute 7% to our total communication. However, choice of our words is very important to form our conversations. Conversations are made up of listening, taking turns, talking at the right time: to ask/answer questions/change the topic/clear misunderstandings/and end the conversation appropriately. They can also involve understanding inferences, double meanings of words and jokes, idioms, and using logic to reason and problem solve.
5. Friendships: Use of emotional and social communication skills are for friendship and other relationships that enrich our lives. Aspects of this include: developing a circle of friends who we trust, and owning responsibility to be a good friend ourselves; learning the qualities of a good friend and valuing others; how to negotiate through arguments/fights; handling anger and jealousy; how to cope with peer pressure and bullying.
6. Assertiveness: This brings all aspects of the social and emotional communication skills programme to a pinnacle; to be positively assertive, persuasive and influential rather than passive or aggressive. To be able to stand up for yourself by: expressing your feelings, saying ‘no’, disagreeing, apologising, requesting explanations, and also working collaboratively as part of a team.
Social communication difficulties can usually be successfully treated from 4 years old to 19 years old. Please contact Jacqui if you have any concerns about your child’s social and/or emotional communication skills, or stammering.
Chief Consultant, Childhood Communication Consultancy
BSc (Log) Hons: Speech Pathology/Audiology
MRCSLT, Cert.HCPC, MASLTIP
Tel: 01234 721 775 Mob: 079 566 855 81