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Communicate with Confidence

Written by Sue Sloan, Jan Mackey & Sue Chamberlain

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Communicate with Confidence is a practical resource to guide the development of social communication skills. Written in plain English, ‘Communicate with Confidence’ provides information, hints and practical exercises in five key everyday pragmatic communication skills;

  • Listening
  • Talking
  • Greetings and Partings
  • Manners
  • Extending social network

‘Communicate with Confidence’ uses mainstream language to assist with pragmatic communication skill development in both mainstream settings such as schools or disability settings with etiologies such as in ABI, Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorder including Asperger’s and Developmental Disabilities. The underlying positive approach to social communication is appropriate to apply in the community setting for general confidence building. This resource can be used by speech pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists and teachers to build capacity in social communication and promote social interactions.

Clients using ‘Communicate with Confidence’ are encouraged to build their awareness of their own social communication style through self-evaluation and to become confident in working through their own hierarchy of communication contexts supported by the provided exercises and extension activities. Key pragmatic principles are embedded within these practical social communication activities and learners are encouraged to work on these prosocial skills with a communication partner to maximise generalization and opportunities for feedback.

Communication needs vary across our lives. With life-long learning in mind, ‘Communicate with Confidence’ can be used by skilled social communicators who want to refine their interactive style to meet changing needs in their home, community or work environments. Foundation pragmatic skills for this approach including managing small talk, having something to say, staying relevant, extending conversations, listening and showing understanding, listening for underlying meaning, navigating body language and getting in and out of conversations in a prosocial manner.

Anyone seeking to broaden or strengthen their friendship networks will benefit from developing their pragmatic skills; understanding how context affects meaning and the patterns that govern our use of language in conversations. Increasing confidence in social communication situations supports more successful community engagement.

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