Top Tips!
Consider how members of the group communicate differently

You may have children in your group who have English as a second language, very young children or disabled children who don't use words to communicate or have a formal system of communication.

Just because a child doesn't use words to communicate or doesn't speak English it doesn't mean that they don't have anything to say. We all need to make an effort to learn about how each child communicates so we can understand what they're telling us.

Over 90% of communication is non-verbal

If you don't know much about a child's method of communicating it's often worth finding this out beforehand, especially if you don't know the child very well. Speak to someone who knows the child well and ask them:

- How do they communicate?
- How can you tell when they're happy or enjoying something?
- How can you tell when they're sad or not enjoying something?
- What do they love doing?
- What would be your top tips or recommendations for me when communicating with this child?
- Are there any games, objects or photographs it would be useful to bring to the session?

Having children supported by someone who understands their communication and that they have a positive relationship with is a great help when collecting their views and ideas.