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5 Ways to Communicate with a Nonverbal Child at E-Sports

“Just because a person can’t speak doesn’t mean they have nothing to say.” A very important reminder from a parent of a nonverbal child.

 

Communication is a basic human need but doesn’t happen in the same ways with every person. Whether it’s communicating through words, actions, or signs, every person has a voice and wants to be heard. For some, it may be difficult to figure out an effective way to engage and communicate with a nonverbal child who has little to no experience working with them. This anxiety may be more prevalent when trying to engage the child in a sport that he/she is not familiar with or is still fairly new to.

 

E-Sports is a great opportunity to learn different forms of communication.  Here are 5 ways to communicate with a nonverbal child at E-Sports:

 

1. Straight to the source, talk to the parents

One of the easiest ways to learn about the child and what works and does not work for them is to talk to the people who take care of and interact with the child on a daily basis. Whether it’s the parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, etc., talking to the person(s) who know the child the best will be the most beneficial in learning how to effectively engage with them.

 

2. Be a learner, study the child

Another strategy is to observe how the child interacts with other people, such as family, close friends, or his/her peers. Natural observations provide useful information and ideas that can be transferred into teaching them the sport. For example, if the parent has the child focus on an object they are holding to help them with their focus while talking, and then having the child look at/hold a ball when you are talking with them is a simple way to implement the strategy they are already used to.

 

3. Encouragement

Providing encouragement for a child is probably one of the easiest ways to communicate and engage with them because it’s universal. Seeing someone clapping, smiling, and cheering you on when trying something new or difficult gives the feeling of accomplishment and confidence to a child. That is the idea of inclusive programs like E-Sports, to help children have the confidence that they can do what they set their mind to, despite obstacles that may be present.

 

4. Find other ways to express

Every child is different.  This is a key point to remember because it means that each child will express their thoughts and feelings in different ways. One might express emotion by facial expressions and another might by using their body. Once you can identify what way is easiest for a nonverbal child to express, use it to your advantage and in any way possible.

 

5. Make it count

Every minute matters. The longer that you are with the child and getting to know him/her they will feel more comfortable around you and you pick up tricks and can understand better of how they communicate with you personally. Stability is crucial when it comes to a child’s comfort level and feeling secure enough to learn. Thus, if you are able to work with that child every session, take the opportunities.