Rus Articles Journal

The supporting communication as a stage of development of the speech of the child of

Very often parents ask specialists of our center a question which, undoubtedly, very much disturbs them: “When my child will begin to speak?“ . To me as the logopedist who for many years deals with a problem of speech development of children with a Down syndrome would like to clear some moments and to cover problems which many parents face.

the Speech always has two parties: impressivny (understanding of someone else`s speech and safety of its sound structure) and expressional (pronouncing speech sounds and words). It is well known that the pronunciation of speech sounds is formed on the basis of perception of someone else`s speech and its acoustical analysis and synthesis. If we remember children, deafs from the birth, then at once we will pay attention to their defective pronunciation which directly depends on the fact that they violated the acoustical analysis. On the other hand, the speech hearing is formed at an active articulation of sounds, words and phrases, approximately the same as the ear for music develops with active participation of a motor propevaniye. Research of speech functions at children with a Down syndrome shows that at them oral speech suffers much stronger, at some children it often remains at the level of simple exclamations and separate words, without passing to the phrase speech.

Of course, all parents look forward to that happy moment when they begin to communicate freely with the kid in language, convenient and habitual for us. But happens, there passes year, the second, third, and the kid does not begin to pronounce the first words and does not enter with you speech dialogue. Parents are lost, upset, and to the agenda there is only one question: “When my child will start talking?“ .

What needs to be made in order that the child started talking? How to help parents with communication with the nonspeaking child? And in general, that such communication and in what forms it can proceed? Here I will try to answer these questions today though each of them deserves deep studying and close attention.

Let`s address what is behind such, apparently, clear and simple term as communication or communication once again.

Communication is a process during which the person formulates and transfers to other person the message, and that accepts it and deciphers. Now it is important to reflect whether the nonspeaking child can always understand the speech turned to him. Of course, not always. Here it is important not to forget that communication happens not only by means of words, but also in a sign language, a mimicry, signs, gestures. If the child shows on a toy or takes a spoon - it is already communication. He cries, laughs, shouts, or stamps legs - it is communication too. As often parents either do not notice it, or insist on speech communication which is still inaccessible for the kid. Though at this stage is much more correct and more effective - to feel the child, to get into his inner world, to understand motives of his behavior and actions.

Today I want to address such important and very effective concept in communication as the supporting communication which at certain stages of speech development of the child is the main once again. What enters this concept and as to use the supporting communication in communication with children with a Down syndrome?

the Purpose of the supporting communication is in giving to the child language by means of which it will be able to contact to people around and will understand that communication will help it to achieve satisfaction of his requirements.

Nonverbal (nonverbal) means of communication are a basis on which communication with the child is based. A mimicry, gestures, gestures, tactile contacts, touches - all this has to support and stimulate speech communication. Let`s stop in more detail on these means.

the Mimicry

Scientists who deal with problems of communication found out that the meaning of the message approximately for 35 - 40% is conveyed by a look. The mimicry is a major component of process of communication with the child with a Down syndrome from the first days of its birth and throughout all life. Strong incentive in communication is visual contact. Here it is very important to watch that the look of the adult corresponded to that message which is transferred. Parents are simply obliged all messages which they address to the child, to support with a bright saturated mimicry. But also they have to be improved constantly in understanding and reading of mimic information from a face of own kid, to encourage and stimulate such communication. The look, an eye can tell a lot of things about the child, his state and health. The adult in many respects depends on understanding of it, how comfortably the child will feel.

the Sign language

Use of the sign speech in our center relies on researches of many foreign scientists who established that gestures in training of children with a Down syndrome accelerate their general and speech development. Our experts on the basis of the long-term experience can confirm and support this statement only.

Often parents very skeptically relate to a sign language, are afraid that it can slow down speech development, detain him. Scientific researches proved the return. Without use of a sign language children with a Down syndrome, appearing in a situation when cannot express the feelings and requirements verbally, quite often just pass to shout or begin to show aggression anyway.

the Sign language helps the child to acquire the basic concepts, he learns to influence world around. It is important to understand that at that stage when speech communication is impossible, gesture can be that bridge which will lay a way from the movement of hands to the first told words. The sign speech is always supported verbal therefore the child has a possibility of the choice what to repeat after you: word or gesture.

It is undoubted, gestures are means which will allow the child to enter communication and will promote its improvement. Gestures have to be such that:

them was easy to be used

Best of all the child studies gestures by imitation. As a rule, he uses those gestures which the people surrounding it use.

Wants to make several recommendations about application of gestures.

  1. Gesture always has to be supported with the word synchronously.
  2. by
  3. When carries out gesture and the word is pronounced, the child has to look at the teacher or that person who communicates with it.
  4. to it needs to give to
  5. When training the child in gesture help. You should help it with movement performance by the hands.
  6. Gestures in which the child is trained have to be fulfilled by
  7. in everyday life.
  8. At communication by gestures of the child should be induced to pronouncing sounds, words.
  9. Everything surrounding it is important to li to understand gestures which are used by the child and to react emotionally to them.

of Gesture, a pantomimik

On extent of emergence informative processes can be built in the following order:

to lay the foundation for speech development of the child, it is necessary to go quite long way of formation of mental processes. Here all links are among themselves connected, and loss or not formation of one of them interferes with process of emergence of the speech. In other words, it is impossible to jump from the first step on the fifth and to receive desired result.


In scientific literature proved communication between development of movements and formation of the speech.

the Kid with a Down syndrome cannot show you any gesture yet or to pronounce the word, but its pose, the movement of the case, hands, legs, the heads can tell of much to you, it is necessary only to learn to read out information from appearance of the child. The movements of the child are a transmission medium of messages, and we have to interpret his behavior as communicative. Even the simplest gestures which are used during communication it is necessary to stimulate and encourage. The child gives a hand on the word “hi“, negatively swings the head here and there, showing “no“, nods on “yes“, - all this speaks about its aspiration to make contact and to express the feelings and desires.

As soon as the child will seize at least several movements, he with pleasure will include them in the contacts. Very important at the very first stages to support this communication, and adults should accompany the speech with gestures which the kid for certain will try to repeat. All rhymes, fairy tales, just it is necessary to play and support conversations with the child with the movements. The movements by a body, the head, hands, legs exert positive impact and on motive properties of speech bodies.


, the first sounds and words will be pronounced by the child during the movement.

Global reading

That such global reading? It is a way of perception and storing of information (in our case - the written word) entirely as pictures or photos). Some specialists in early development give preference to this method when training small children in reading. The same phenomenon can be used for providing nonspeaking children with the basic or supportive application of communication. In such cases communication is supported by means of specially made plates on which the large print (height of 10 cm) wrote words.

Alternative forms of communication help the child to learn world around, allow to improve the relations with it. Training in global reading at the initial stage does not demand even ability to speak, but it relies on purposeful attention and memory. At the first stages training in global reading should not have abstract character, he should be tied to a concrete subject and its designation. In other words, if you show to the child the plate where the word “Yabloko“ is written, then surely you put real apple nearby, with the word “spoon“ you put a spoon on the plate, etc. It is possible to replace real objects with pictures with imposing of plates with them later. If the child is ready to hold large volume of information in the field of the attention, it is possible to expand a row to the “subject-the picture-the plate with the name“ level (the car + the picture + the name of a subject). Training in global reading helps to create at the child installation on reading: he begins to understand that objects, and later - pictures, symbols and letters comprise some information.


In the western literature described cases when children with a Down syndrome began to be trained in global reading at infantile age (from 10 - 12 months), and it yielded good results. There should be no standards, all children have different degree of learning ability, and it is worth relying only on desire and possibilities of the child.

Summing up of

the results, there is a wish to remind once again that the paramount part has to be assigned to desire to communicate and pleasure from communication at the beginning. Correctness of communication is on the second plan. The most important that the child felt success that he wanted to communicate therefore has to be trained at such level at which the child will be able to achieve this success.

of Good luck to you!