Asking for help

It’s important for young people to recognise when they have not understood and to ask for help when they need it. This will help them to follow instructions correctly and complete independent work. It will also prepare them for explaining their communication needs independently as they get older.

How to help your child tell someone when they have not understood

Introduce the idea of ‘asking for help’ by talking about how sometimes people can say things that other people do not understand.

Practise giving your child instructions that they will not be able to understand, for example “colour the feline black”.

Help them to identify why they haven’t understood. For example, they could ask “What does ‘feline’ mean?

Deliver messages in different ways (e.g. too quickly, too quietly or giving too much information at once) and help your child to spot and say what’s wrong. For example,
if you spoke too quietly, they could ask “could you say it a bit louder please?

Giving your child the tools to ask for help

Ensure the learning provider understands your child’s communication needs.

Together with your child and the setting, work out how they can comfortably ask for help. Some young people are happy to ask aloud, whilst others like to do this discreetly, such as placing a red pen on the table.

Some young people benefit from learning set phrases they can use to ask for help. These can be practised at home, or written down to use in class.

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