Communication in Small Steps

Recently I’ve noticed the communication skills of the kids in the SEN nursery  class have improved dramatically.


In particular I love Sadi’s “story telling”. The other week there was a bird caught in the ceiling of the school flying backwards and forwards looking for a way out. Sadi repeatedly pointed to it saying “Nkoko, ki ki ki?” (“Chicken, what is it?”) shrugging his little shoulders and looking very concerned.


The next day I came to school late. Sadi ran directly to me and pointed to the ceiling saying “Nkoko, ki ki ki?” again but then held his nose and mimed wafting. It turned out that when they arrived at school early that morning they had found the bird dead on the floor. This is what Sadi was telling me.
Sadi using resources as a means of communication


Another time, Sadi could hear the noise of a chainsaw somewhere nearby, which is very unusual for the village where most work is done by hand. He went to investigate with TA Lydia. On their return Sadi mimed the whole story punctuating it with some words of seeing the chain saw cutting down the big tree and the man “sleeping”.  Lydia filled us in that the man had been lying down in order to get full reach across the tree.


For a child who was up until a few months ago almost entirely non verbal with and showed no particular desire to communicate and story tell I find this development both astounding and extremely pleasing.


Sadi tells us about his number work sheet
Then there is Destiny, 4 years old with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. He’s still only has a few words but is showing an exciting amount of pre-verbal babble. Destiny used to sit still and passive only engaging when excessively encouraged. Now this little munchkin runs around in circles screaming when he’s excited, stamps his feet and cries when he’s annoyed and runs to greet you in the morning calling “Hi, hi, hi!”


Destiny “chats” to Teacher Christine
They might be small steps…but we’re going somewhere!