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Professional Resources

Supporting Children's Social Communication Needs

Social communication refers to the social use of language and the ability to use and interpret language and behaviour with others, in order to have successful communication.

Broadly speaking, social communication is the sending and receiving of messages through a combination of strategies, including:

  • Gestures
  • Eye contact
  • Facial expressions
  • Social and cultural norms
  • Speech patterns
  • Language.

Children and young people with social communication difficulties (such as autism) may appear to behave unusually. There will generally be a reason for this, it can be an attempt to communicate or a way of coping with a particular situation. Socialising and communicating can be challenging, many really do want to make friends and form relationships but find it hard. For others, they are content with their own company and happier not being pressured to interact – it is for us to understand that child or young person and not put demands on them to fit into ‘the norm’.

A child or young person with social communication needs may struggle to interact with other people. Some find it difficult understanding what is being said and some find it difficult to communicate what they want to. They may switch their attention between different people and activities. They may misinterpret eye contact, facial expressions and body language. This can have an impact on them being able to listen and pay attention to their environment and react as expected. 

How to Help & Support Young People

Below are a selection of resources and tools which can be used to help support children with social communication needs.


Toolkit

PEaSS – Provision Expected at SEN Support:

Click Here

Autism Education Trust (AET)

Click Here

Autism Resource Suite

Click Here

Autism Spectrum Toolkit

Click Here

Talkabout

Click Here

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA

Click Here

Thrive Approach

Click Here

Zones of Regulation

Click Here

Essex Provision Guidance Toolkit

Click Here

How Can Norfolk & Waveney Children & Young People's Health Services Help?

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