What is Communication at Oakfield Park?
Communication is an umbrella term which covers a multitude of methods of passing information between people. At Oakfield Park, we work on the skills and development of what most people see as Communication: Reading, Writing and Spoken Word, but Communication means so much more! It ranges from fleeting interaction through to using complex text and speech.
Here are some of the areas we work on:
· Fundamentals of Communication – the pre-language skills we need to communicate. We use strategies such as Attention Autism
· Intensive Interaction – tapping in to any behavioural signs of communication
· Objects of Reference – using the sight, sound, smell, feel of and object to represent something
· Photographs – understanding meaning from images
· Symbols – picture representations. This may be in communication books or apps or on VOCAs (Voice Output Communication Aids) and can range from one large coloured symbol through to complicated systems such as full PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) books
· Creating functional ‘sentences’ – we use symbols and core language to help students learn to request, protest, label and describe, comment, direct, ask and answer questions, express feelings and opinions and engage in social activities
· Learning to read and write – we use the Government Approved phonics scheme Sounds-Write for appropriate students
· Spoken Word – We help students use speech or Sign Supported English to communicate. We have students with individual needs such as using BSL or Eye-Gaze technology and we work with their system to develop their communication.
In our whole group teaching, staff use Total Communication, so they use multiple methods of communication in lessons so that everyone can access learning. They speak using clear language but also support understanding by using visual language - Sign Supported English, objects of reference, photographs, symbols and written word as appropriate.
To help our staff get the most from our young people, Speech and Language Therapists give advice and support.