Review the range of groups and individuals whose communication needs must be addressed in your job role. Most people take for granted the ability to communicate. However the ability to communicate is always provisional and can depend on both the environment and context of a situation, our skills and abilities and the skills and abilities of the person we are trying to communicate with. Speech, language and communication difficulties can erode self-esteem; affect educational achievement, social integration and general behaviour. It is important to address communication difficulties and offer support so that individuals can express themselves effectively. Individuals have the right to communicate using their preferred method. In my job role as relief manager it is my responsibility to ensure that this is the case, and young people are given the support to do so. Communication is a recognised as an essential human need, and therefore a basic human right. Communication rights are those rights that enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication in order to improve their lives. Without communication an individual would be unable to exercise their basic human rights. (Human Rights Act 1998.) In my job role as part of the management team for a residential children’s home, I work with a number of young people who experience communication difficulties. Below are some of the groups of people I work with and the type of communication needs they may require: Physical disabilities
In the children’s home in which I work, we have not yet accommodated a young person with physical disabilities, however, it is a possibility. The majority of people with physical disabilities experience some sort of communication difficulties. Damage to the central nervous system, associated with physical disabilities, may interfere with the ability to produce sound or speech. This can also be accompanied with random body movement and facial distortions. In these cases it is important not to show distaste, and to listen to the person carefully. However in some cases service users may not be able to communicate effectively using speech and may need to use a different communication system. Mental Health
Mental health problems can affect children as well as adults. Young people with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder may experience mental health problems (e.g. obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD, oppositional defiant disorder - ODD, anxiety, and depression). Mental health problems can cause communication difficulties, especially with regards to young people, it affects comprehension and expression, and usually young people with mental health problems find it hard to stick to one topic of conversation. A young person with mental health problems may need to see a speech therapist or attend cognitive-behavioural therapy. In these cases it is essential that staff liaise with professionals in order to review and assess communication methods. It is also essential that staff use both verbal and non-verbal communication with young people with mental health problems, in order to build on communication and develop social skills. This can be done by using eye contact and facial expression when communicating with the young person, using negotiation skills, and initiating conversation with the service user.
Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) Children and young people with emotional and behavioral difficulties (EBD) are far more likely to have communication problems than their peers. Statistics show that improving a young person’s communication can in turn improve their behavior. (Cross:2004) According to Hyter, Rogers-Adkinson, Self, Simmons, and Jantz (2001), EBD and language research indicate 50% to 80% of children with language disorders may have co-occurring emotional/behavioral disorders,...