Asking for help is a difficult skill to master, particularly for children with social communication difficulties. It requires the ability to understand that help is required, to initiate interaction appropriately and to structure a sentence. Here are some simple tips to encouraging your child or a child in your class to ask for help.
1) Make a simple cue card and place it on the child's desk. On the cue card should be a simple phrase 'I need some help' and a picture of a person they can ask for help.
2) Begin to demonstrate when the child may need some help and model the request for them. Show them how to ask by giving the card to them and saying 'I need some help'.
3) Help the child to learn to recognise when they need help and prompt them to use the card.
4) Accept use of the card in any form. At first children are likely to simply hand the card over. Do not worry if they do not use the correct language at this point. Model the language for them 'I need help' and reward them for initiating interaction using the card.
5) Ensure you use the card in many settings so the child has chance to generalise the use of the cue card and become confident in asking for help.
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This blog is created by Hannah Broughton and Caspian Jamie. Caspian is a Private Speech Therapist and Hannah is a Child development Specialist We have our own company, The Therapy Adventure Limited and live in Ramsbottom, Manchester with our daughter.