Non Verbal Communication

When should I choose this 'Area of Focus' for my Gabadoo?

Non-verbal communication refers to the use of facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, personal space, touch, voice tone, use of fillers vs. silence in conversations, expressions of emotions, engagement and responding to others non-verbal communication. 

Our Gabadoo Team are experienced at working with children and families to support the development of their communication. Get individualised strategies and support today through a Gaba Plan.

Important to Note:

If you are only looking for support specifically around your child's speech sounds or speech fluency, there are also separate area's of focus for each of these which you can select when doing your Gabadoo. 

If you feel your child would initially benefit from support around their regulation so that they can attend and engage with others, please select sensory processing as your area of focus.  Read more about sensory processing here. 

If you feel your child needs more support around their expressive or receptive language, you can click on each of these areas to read more about them. 

What information do I need to include in my Gabadoo?

As our Gabadoo Team have never met your family before and know nothing about your child, they can only provide strategies based on the information you provide so be very detailed!

After you have filled in the relevant information in your Gabadoo, go through this checklist to make sure you have included the following:

Family & Home Life:

Description of your family & the structure of your family including siblings, pets or any extended family who are living in your home. Also include if anyone else in the household has identified difficulties with their communication.  

Your daily routine including school hours, child-care, free-time in evenings and weekends.

Strengths and Interests:

What does your child like to do?

What games, toys, T.V. programs, characters do they like?

What type of activities do they enjoy?

What daily activities do they enjoy doing with a parent or family member? e.g. cooking, baking, jobs, walking the dog.

Do they respond to praise from adults? 

Do they enjoy playing with other children?

Additional Information:

What class is your child in at school?

What type of schooling do they receive? i.e. homeschooling, mainstream N.S., gaelscoil, preschool, ASD class, Special School. 

Have you seen any professionals in the past in relation to their development? Or has your child ever had a medical review that is relevant to this area of focus? (i.e. hearing, sight, MRI etc.)  If so, what was the outcome?

Make sure to include:

How does your child currently communicate? E.g. pointing, gesturing, AAC, pecs, Lamh, taking adult my hand over to what they want etc or none of the above?

Is your child making sounds - babbling, humming, singing or none of the above?

Can your child follow objects visually?

Can your child make facial expressions or do they tend to have a blank face/affect?

Do they initiate communication/ interaction?

What is your child's level of understanding? e.g. 1/2 step commands, do they understand 'show me X', do they turn/come when they're called? 

Does your child use echolalia? If so, how often. 

What you have tried before to work on this skill e.g. interventions, specific programmes, courses, books such as More Than Words or Talkability. 

Include a list of toys or books that you already have at home that your child likes to engage with.

Include what level you feel your child is at, consider how they;

  • Use gestures (e.g. shaking, nodding, pointing, pulling)
  • Use facial expression (e.g. are they easy to interpret, does their facial expression communicate how they are feeling)
  • Use touch, posture and their body when engaging or relating to others.
  • Use their voice (e.g. volume, intonation)
  • Express their emotions.

Include a list of people your children frequently communicates with (e.g. teacher, relatives, parents), the most common environments they communicate in (e.g. home, clubs, school, public places) and what this looks like for them. 

Very Important: What would you like to gain from this Gabadoo? What are some of your goals? E.g. I would like to support my child to be able to use gestures to communicate their needs. 

Next include videos and images of your child and their environment. 

  • Video-clips of them engaging with you or another caregiver where you are playing, engaging in an activity or having a conversation. If your child is at the pre-verbal, babbling or one word level stage, try to sit in front of your child and get someone else to capture both of you on the video.

Remember: The more information you give our team, the more individualised and relevant your plan will be. Videos are extremely helpful when reviewing a child's communication and engagement. 

What support will I receive for my child?

Your information will be reviewed by one of our Gabadoo Experts who is experienced in the area of communcation. They will detail individualised strategies, activities, next steps and helpful organisations and products that you can use at home to support your child. 

So, I'm ready to do my Gabadoo, what's my 'Area of Focus'

Non Verbal Communication

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