Definition of Encouraging Communication

Encouraging Communication is a procedure used help an individual with limited or no verbal skills to expand his/her individualized form of communication.

Communication: The Most Common Reason for Challenging Behaviors

Challenging behaviors are often used by individuals with IDD to communicate their needs.

The needs communicated through individuals’ challenging behaviors generally fall into 3 categories:

Forms of Non-Verbal Communication Typically Used by Individuals with IDD

Advantages of Enhancing the Communication Skills of Individuals with IDD

Two-Fold Process of Enhancing Communication Skills

  1. Recognize each person’s individualized form of communication
  2. Help each person to expand his/her individualized form of communication

Methods for Building Rapport with Individuals with IDD

Procedural Steps for Encouraging Communication

  1. Approach the individual.
  2. Wait for the individual to initiate an interaction.
  3. If the individual does not initiate within 3 seconds, initiate the interaction, say something positive, and prompt with a question that encourages the individual to communicate a “want,” a “need” or a “choice.”
  4. End the interaction by saying something positive.

Things to Remember when Encouraging Communication