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Support Individuals with specific communication needs

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1.1 It is important to meet the needs of an individual communication needs because it enables them to express themselves in a method they feel comfortable. It is important to respect their communication needs as it will prevent individuals feeling isolated but also helps to encourage them build relationships with others.

1.2 When supporting individuals with specific communication needs our own role and practice may impact when communicating. This could be from us not being trained correctly to be able to adapt to the specific communication needs. This can lead to misunderstanding and also preventing support workers building a relationship with service users, which could lead to challenging behaviour from the service user. It is also important to read their care plans because individuals may have a adapted versions of a communication style. Whilst we may have prior experience working a specific communication we need to respect that others adapted versions and learn it.

1.3 Features of the environment that may help or hinder communication:
Noise levels
Good or bad lighting
Privacy or lack of it
No disruptions and/or distractions
Temperature too hot or cold

1.4 Why does an individual may use a form of communication that is not based on a formal language system They have adapted a formal language system which feel comfortable with and easy fro them to use They may only need to use the basic form of the language system. For example we have service user whose speak and language is limited. However he uses some Makaton signs and visual aids to help him communicate his needs and for support workers to communicate back to him.

1.5 Communication methods and aids to support individuals to communicate:
Human and technological aids – interpreters/ computers/ tablets/ phones
Hearing aids
Pictures/ symbols/ charts
Social stories
Short and simple sentences
Sign language ( formal and non formal)

1.6 It is important that individuals communication needs are met, if not it could lead to misunderstanding between you and the service user. This could make them feel isolated and excluded from activities, which inhibit them from building relationships with others. It is also important as a support worker that we are proactive and respect the particular communication methods individuals use. This can be done with training and reading the care plans. Also not meeting the needs for the individuals it could lead to challenging behaviour if there are misunderstandings.

5.1 Specialist services relating to communication technology and aids
Speech and language therapy
Schools and colleges
Local education authorites
Adult communication and assistive technology service
ACE (aiding communication in education
Occupation therapy
Communication matters
Quality enabling devices
Sensory services

5.2 I f an individual needs or wants to use technological aids to communicate, it is important that support workers have received training or have prior knowledge when demonstrating the equipment to service users. For example we have a house tablet for all the service users, each person would have had a care plan in place as each individuals will need different levels of support. It is important to provide training for service users so they have a better understand of the particular device, this understand the benefits of technological equipment and increases their independence.

5.3 It is important that communication equipment are set up and working properly as individuals should not feel isolated due to mechanical faults, also it reduces challenging behaviours and creating barriers. This is why care plans should be in place for individuals as they will all development at different levels.

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