List and describe 5 communication goals for EI/Preschool. How may each of them be targeted in therapy?

Learning to communicate in early childhood provides a basis for interacting with future life. Excellent communication skills are essential for survival in the growing competition in the millennial business and social world. The importance of investing in children’s communication skill development can never be overestimated. Efficient child therapy should thus listen, identify and adjust their therapy techniques based on the young one’s perceived goals. Communication gives a child an opportunity to express their feelings, process information, express thoughts, and understand themselves and the world in general.

A SLP should thus target the youngster’s communication skills to design the best therapeutic strategies for adoption. While the need to understand a child’s communication skills starts before birth, active retargeting for therapy begins at the preschool age. This is when he or she can see, hear, and interpret information from other people. The early intervention aims to develop children’s communication skills and foster them better to grow the child’s language at the adult stage. The primary preschool communication goals include; localization, joint attention, mutual gaze, joint action, and vocalization.

Localization Goal

Young children identify communication sounds by seeking to know the origin of the sounds before responding to them appropriately. When an infant hears a sound around their environment, they respond to search and see the sound source. The audio and visual connection of sounds from the background creates cause-and-effect relations between what they hear and see. Young children of the preschool age aim to develop cognitive goals characterized by their behaviors to imitate actions, solve simple problems they encounter daily, and categorize objects they come across into homogeneous categories.

The kind of toys the children aspire to handle is the “cause and effect” in nature, characterized by their love for banging and shaking toys. The children at the preschool age would visually verbally follow persons in their presence, observing and locating their movements. Therapists also seek to retarget substantial progress in the school and the family units. A child undergoing therapy should get psycho-social support both at home and at school. If he or she experiences special disability needs and communication, a therapist should take more time and resources to understand their therapeutic needs.

As a communication goal, a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) seeks to target the child’s localization behaviors in developing their communication language. For example, SLP aims to enhance the localization behaviors by initiating sounds within the area of the child; an infant is triggered to react by turning to locate the origin of the sound. The SLP may physically turn the infant’s head and ensure the child can connect the sound and the images they see when the infant does not notice the sound.

Joint Attention

Successful infant communication aims at creating typical attention between the infant and the SLP. Joint attention promotes imitation of an adult by an infant for successful communication. Through instilling a joined cause and effect of both the infant and the adult, the infant can imitate the relationships of objects and actions. In this communication goal, the infant learns the relationships between objects and relevant actions by making the adult and the infant focus on the same things of reference.

SLPs target improving communication by promoting sharing of attention between an adult and an infant. A standard method of promoting shared engagement includes placing an object in front of the child and commenting on it or touching it. The infant is then encouraged to pay attention to the thing by helping them reach the object, virtually by pointing. The skills targeted by SLPs should also be age-appropriate and child-specific. For a child with problems in processing information, support communication tools such as charts—pictures, and sound records instead of those with excellent cognitive skills.

Mutual Gaze Goals

The social goals of children ascribe to interaction with others and the creation of interpersonal relations. They like associating with others in games, playing with adults, initiating words and good communication, and participating in the daily routines with the other family members. Children will not hesitate to communicate dislikes when poorly treated by both adults and fellow children. Young children learn through observing patterns of gazing between them and adults, who are usually the caregivers. When caregivers and infants stare at each other, the infant learns to connect the object and the look, bonding the caregiver to the baby.

Eye conduct between the infant and the caregiver every time an action takes place encourages it to communicate about the object or move to proceed. The facial reaction of the caregiver also defines whether the action is motivated by him or her. SLPs target promoting or discouraging the activities by facial expressions such as smiling or entertaining vocalizations. Through the eye gaze, infants learn to differentiate the desirable from the undesirable actions.

Joint Actions and Routines Goals

Children of the preschool age will adopt communication habits that help to express their pleasure in different scenarios. While passing information, they will use gestures and word approximations. The mode of communication may adopt frequent single-word, sentence, or two-word sentences where they visualize variations of consonant-vowel combinations in speech. To retarget the needs of the children, therapists adopt many types of communication, such as sign language, gestures, communication aid tools, and spoken words.

Preschool-going children aim to create routines jointly with their caregivers. The infants seek to develop a predetermined sequence of known gestures and sound through joint actions. The caregiver predetermined the performances so that the infant would act in a specific way every time a particular sound or movement gets made. An efficient routine structure must have a beginning-middle-end pattern.

The pattern defines vocalizations and verbalizations for adoption. Through the predetermined vocalization structure, infants create anticipation of events, thus increasing adult-child interaction potentials. SLPs encourage caregivers to develop joint playful events with infants consistently and suggest appropriate response targets. As a communication development strategy, the systematic acquisition strategies should get designed to differ with the child’s age.

Vocalization Goal

A child defines their responses to the environment and the activities around them. Sensitivity to familiar phenomena is recognized through a desire to identify everyday objects such as books, pictures, and attention to events in familiar stories. When they encounter knowledgeable persons, they pay more attention to them; follow their gestures, and turn to look at them while speaking. Children of the preschool-going age focus on the goal of maximizing their control over their speech.

The infant’s goal is to increase speech control and better the quality of vocalizations that conform to predictable development stages. In promoting an infant’s vocal repertoire, SLPs advise expanding the infant’s vocalizations’ variety, quality, and frequency. SLPs promote vocalizations through cuddling, singing, talking, playing, or tickling the infant. They also playfully imitate the infant’s vocalization repetitively and identify their sounds.

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Academic.Tips. 2022. "List and describe 5 communication goals for EI/Preschool. How may each of them be targeted in therapy?" November 27, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/list-and-describe-5-communication-goals-for-ei-preschool-how-may-each-of-them-be-targeted-in-therapy/.

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