As part of a wide ranging and person-centred set of weekly activities, a number of our service users benefit from Intensive Interaction sessions. These can form part of a 'total communications' approach that has positive outcomes in the well being of those we support. From flash cards (pictured above with John and Nina), to board games and music making, these one on one activities provide stimulus and a platform for social development.
This week we followed Helen and Callum as they sat down to play a board game. And whilst playing a board game can be fun and stimulating, this one was a bit different. Devised by ILS themselves, the 'food and shopping' game has three sets of question cards; 'either or', 'opinions' and 'fill in'. All the questions are designed to get the participant talking and crucially, there are no right or wrong answers (sort of). For our staff, this kind of game allows follow up questions that enable the conversation to flow and of course one gets to know much more about the person you're playing; in this case all about Callum's foody likes and dislikes. It also serves as excellent practice for the right kind of communication to take place. We take care to speak slowly and clearly. We use short and simple words. We use facial expressions, body language and key word signing to underline the whatever is being said. And above all, we make it fun.
Today's session went really well and after a quiet start Callum was happily reading out loud and using some long sentences in his answers. Top job! Note to self - no pineapple puddings for Callum!