Total Communication is an approach that many therapists and settings take, when working with children and adults with Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

Speech is the most common form of communication and is used daily with children and adults of various abilities. Total Communication encourages the use of other communication methods, to support a child or adults understanding and use of language.

What is Total Communication?

Total communication includes;

  1. Speech
  2. Body Language
  3. Facial Expression
  4. Sign and Gesture
  5. Vocalisations
  6. Symbols
  7. Written Words
  8. Hearing
  9. Touch
  10. Taste
  11. Objects
  12. Art
  13. Music
  14. Contextual Cues
  15. Challenging Behaviour

Who uses Total Communication?

Anyone can use Total Communication! Total Communication is encouraged with children and adults who may have Speech and Language Difficulties, Autism Spectrum Conditions, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Learning disabilities and Multi sensory impairment.

Parents, Speech and Language Therapists, family, friends, peers, teachers, teaching assistants, carers or anyone who spends time with a child or adult with communication difficulties should use a Total Communication approach. Particularly using methods of communication which are a strength to that child or adult.

Why use Total Communication ?

Children and Adults with communication difficulties often struggle to understand and use spoken language, and need support to communicate basic needs, wants and desires. Total communication makes use of the skills a child or adult has, such as non-verbal communication and may include the use of Augmentative and Alternative communication. Sometimes a Communication Passport is used to enable them to communicate with familiar and less familiar people.

Further information

If you would like to make your home environment or setting more accessible, and you would like to adapt a Total Communication approach, get in touch with us and one of our therapists can provide the support and training you may need.