Every child has the right to be listened to. Whether it is having a say in decisions about their lives or in making everyday choices, communication helps children feel happy, make friends and stay safe.
That is why we are supporting the International Communication Project 2014. As you can see in the photograph at the beginning of this story, I recently signed their declaration of communication rights on behalf of our organisation.
I encourage you to sign up as well. Help ensure that every child with communication needs is supported to communicate.
Helping children develop communication skills
In our children’s centres, we help children develop their communication skills and help families of children with additional communication needs to get the right support and skills they need to communicate with their child.
We also help children in care – who often feel ignored – to have a voice.
Paul is a good example of a young person we have helped to communicate. He’s a 15-year-old disabled young person in care. He has difficulties with speech, and often needs to find other ways to communicate.
A mum wishing her son good night can be key
After Paul was moved to a new care placement, his behaviour started to deteriorate. One of our advocates worked with Paul to communicate his feelings and wishes, and understand his behaviour changes.
Using specialist skills and non-verbal means of communication, our advocate suspected that Paul had vision problems. An eye test revealed that he was seeing people as shapes and shadows. Understandably, this scared him and provoked him to lash out.
Paul’s new placement was farther from his home and he missed his mum and old friends. In response, his mother made a recording of her wishing him good night. The advocate got photographs from his old school. These helped Paul become happier and to settle in the new placement.
Help support children’s communication
We believe that every child should be supported to communicate.
If you agree, please sign the International Communication Project’s pledge.