Celebrating Neurodiversity – Inclusive Communication

Supporting children to effectively communicate their wants and needs is a key element of our service. Most of the children attending out ASN groups require an alternative method to communicate and to ensure everyone is included, we support the use of alternative communication methods.

Makaton is one of the methods used within our settings and is defined as “a language programme that uses, symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate” (Makaton, 2024). Makaton is used widely across the settings within FCSS and is easily transferable from our Nursery settings to our ASN groups. Megan, ASN Co-Ordinator, shares her Makaton skills every Monday with the whole organisation so that everyone has access to this inclusive communication method.

Widgit Symbols is another common communication method used. Settings have access to a variety of symbols to encourage alternative communication opportunities between children ad practitioners. As can be seen from the images below, it can be used for children to request specific resources/activities or can be used in a group opportunity to explore what is on offer in a setting. Some children may even require these as a visual timetable to support transitions between activities. 

These are just brief examples of some of the methods used within our settings, however, they do provide a small insight of how we encourage inclusive communication at FCSS! 🙂