Develop positive communication practices in your family before problems begin, and you'll weather them more easily. Learn strategies to promote positive communication with your learning disabled child.
1. Practice Communication Daily - Talk with Your Child Every DayMake talk time part of your daily routine. Use time creatively. For example, you both may enjoy talking while making dinner together. Use these opportunities to listen closely to your child's communication style. The way she speaks will give you important clues about how she processes information. Does she talk generally about her day, or does she give specific details? Does she respond quickly to questions, or does she need extra time to process information before answering? Keep her communication style in mind when you talk with your child and when you speak with her teachers.
2. Establish a Family Sharing Time to Encourage Communication
Develop a regular family meeting time to discuss items such as good news, schedules, and upcoming events. Set a regular time for meeting such as on Friday evening to recap the week and discuss plans for the weekend. Establish rules as a group, and use those to run the meeting process. Examples of rules might include:
- Everyone gets a turn to speak;
- No one interrupts; and
- Comments must be polite and supportive.
3. Communicate with Concise, Clear Language
Students with language-based
learning disabilities often have difficulty with understanding spoken language. To communicate effectively with them:
- Maintain eye-contact for focus;
- Use your normal speaking tone;
- Simplify your conversation by focusing on what is most important;
- Check for understanding by having the child repeat important points back to you;
- Encourage the child to offer his thoughts and opinions;
- Pause between comments to allow processing time;
- Restate your main points, and check for the child's understanding; and
- Use visual models such as drawings, photos, and graphic organizers when possible.