Choosing an approach to communication, how to promote communication, organisations that can help.

Guidance on choosing an approach

As parents, you’ll make an informed choice about the appropriate communication for your child with support from your Teacher of the Deaf and other professionals. 

Communication options may change over time as your child develops. The National Deaf Children’s Society gives information about different approaches to communication. You can find guidance for parents on choosing an approach.

How to promote communication

The first three years of life are really important for developing early language and communication. Communication is multisensory.

Developing communication involves: 

  • hearing
  • seeing
  • feeling

There are simple steps you can take to create a positive environment to support communication:

  • spend as much time as you can communicating with your child
  • make sure your child’s amplification devices are on and working
  • put yourself at your child’s eye level so that they can see your face clearly
  • keep close: all hearing aids work best within a metre
  • try to keep background noise levels to a minimum when talking to your child
  • follow your child’s lead and interests
  • use daily routines when you play 
  • share books to promote language development
  • learn language through singing songs and action rhymes
  • use the home language that you feel most comfortable with

Organisations that offer communication support 

The Let’s Listen and Talk programme is provided free of charge by the Elizabeth Foundation to support the development of spoken language and communication skills from birth to 5 years.

The NDCS offer Family Sign Language courses to build skills for communication through sign language. 

Hungry Little Minds has ideas and activities for different ages from birth to 5 years to support the development of language and communication.

I Can’s Talking Point provides a guide to the typical stages of speech and language development in babies and young children.

Tiny Happy People has tips and advice on many topics related to early language and communication development and suggests simple activities and play ideas.

BabyBeats is a resource developed by Advanced Bionics using music to stimulate early speech.

Contact us
Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
Westbury-on-Trym
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07810 506 669
Email: sensorysupportservice@bristol.gov.uk