What do we mean by Social Communication?
Social communication is about being able to communicate functionally and appropriately within social situations by using non-verbal means (e.g. gesture, signing or pointing) and/or verbal means (e.g. vocalising or speaking). It encompasses being able to make requests and greet people, as well as adapting communication according to who you are talking to. At a higher level it includes conversational skills such as staying on topic and taking turns. It also includes supporting your conversation with non verbal skills, such as facial expression and gesture.
Accessing learning and coping with change
Online resources available to support with social communication
- www.autism.org.uk - National Autistic Society
- www.scerts.com – a research-based educational approach and multidisciplinary framework that directly addresses the core challenges faced by children and persons with ASD and related disabilities, and their families.
- www.facebook.com/ginadaviesautism – videos and workshops available on Facebook by Gina Davies, creator of Attention Autism.
- www.makaton.org/shop/shopping/browseStore/Free-resources - free topical vocabulary, guidelines and other resources available from Makaton, the language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate.
- www.singinghands.co.uk - daily videos, songs and stories using Makaton signing.
- www.widgitonline.com – Free 21 day trial of Widgit Online to create, print, share and translate symbol material online.
Coronavirus Specific Resources
- A digital book for primary school age children, free for anyone to read on screen or print out, about the coronavirus and measures taken to control it.
- Covibook – an interactive resource compiled in order to support and reassure children aged 7 and under. It is designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic.
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.
- Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing.
- This freely accessible and easy to navigate blog post puts together some selected resources.
- These links from trusted sources have been grouped by age to make it easier for you to find age-appropriate information for your child/ the child you are supporting.
- Mencap – easy to read guide to Coronavirus.
- A special edition podcast about helping children with autism during this time of great upheaval.
Social Stories about Coronavirus
Alternative and Augmentative Communication
- www.communicationmatters.org.uk - Communication Matters is a UK wide charity which supports people of all ages who find it hard to communicate. The following leaflets are helpful:
- www.1voice.info – 1Voice is a charity which supports families and children who use AAC. They organise 2 national events a year and also have local branches which organise events locally.
More Than Words
The Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) Service run ‘More Than Words’ courses on a termly basis and invite families known to the SLT Service.
A ‘More Than Words’ course is a series of workshops for the parents/carers of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Social Communication Difficulties. These workshops are designed to show parents/carers how to turn everyday activities into opportunities for promoting interaction and communication skills.
Each course consists of parent workshop sessions and parent and child home sessions. Attendance at a course is a child’s speech & language therapy intervention. At the end of the course, children are discharged from the Speech & Language Therapy Service and details given about when to re-refer (if a child needs ongoing input).
There is a waiting list for ‘More Than Words’ so there will be a wait before accessing a course. You can find out more about ‘More Than Words’ online at www.hanen.org.