Like talking, children may have challenges in responding the way we perceive they need to respond for many reasons. Children may not feel confident enough to respond, they may not know what to say, they may not have heard or understood the message or they may not have enough time to respond. Some children need longer processing time than others. Here, we support the parents in understanding their child’s processing profile and coach using strategies such as Observing, Waiting and Listening (Hanen Parenting Programs). Some children respond to their communication partners, but may find it challenging to initiate ideas or find topics to talk about. Some children’s responses may not be congruent to the topics being discussed as they find it difficult to follow a conversation or take on their communication partner’s perspective. Here the child may have challenges with Theory of Mind i.e. not be able to understand what the other person may be feeling, thinking, experiencing.
Some children may not respond because of other sensory processing challenges. They may have sensory processing profiles which indicate they are under-aroused or over-aroused. Here the Occupational Therapist can help. Some school aged children feel they may be laughed at or ridiculed if they respond in the ‘wrong way’ – here our Early Childhood Educator can help.
We work closely with mental health and medical professionals in this area, as a child’s ability to respond is a complex process.
If you have concerns about your child’s ability to respond and you would like information on how to best support them, please contact us for a consultation.