The Importance Of Communication And Communication Among Children

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Communication is a process used to send messages back and forth between two or more people (Downsyndrome.ie, 2013). Communication skills are used by every human being on an everyday basis in order to convey a message. Children manipulate their communication skills to indicate a need or want, share information and interests with another and for social etiquette (Sheridan, Sharma and Cockerill, 2014). From my experience on a disability awareness placement, I have noticed that communication skills vary amongst people. I carried out my placement in a special needs school which had children aged five to fourteen. I was placed in a class of five children with disabilities including Down’s Syndrome, severe Intellectual Disability or Autism. The children were either verbal or non-verbal and this made me more aware of how communication skills differ amongst individuals. I gained a greater insight into non-verbal communication such as gestures, sign language and body expression. When asked initially to define communication I would have considered it to be a spoken conversation between individuals, but from my time spent on placement it is far more evident to me that communication is much more diverse than a verbal exchange. I carried out my pragmatics profile on a child with Down’s Syndrome named Laura (Laura is a pseudonym). Laura is nine years old and is the only verbal child in her class. Laura uses spoken language with the staff of the school and practises Lámh signs (Irish
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