- Show sensitivity to the child and to their developmental stage
- Demonstrate respect, humility and genuine interest
- Establish shared attention
- Respond appropriately to the child’s communicative attempts
- Use an appropriate language level
- Use audition maximizing techniques
Pediatric counseling skills
Heard and understood
To effectively communicate with a child using the My World tool, you should engage the child in a manner that will make them feel heard and understood.
Managing the conversation is very important. The conversation should remain open enough for the child to express their views, and narrow enough to hone in on the specific information you need to create a shared strategy.
Below you will find a list of conversation skills and pitfalls to avoid that can help you use the My World tool with children.
As you say hello to the child and the family, be sure to greet the child directly.
How are you today?
How is it going with the new classmate you told me about last time?
This happens when you 'listen for meaning'. You say very little, but convey much interest.
This could be conveyed through direct eye contact and nodding. Only speak to find out if a statement has been correctly heard and understood.
Take a holistic view
Open vs. closed questions
Open questions cannot be answered with a simple yes or no response. These questions can help you gather lots of information. You ask it with the expectation of getting a long answer.
Closed questions help gather specific pieces of information. They can normally be answered with a single word or a short phrase.
Information to parents
Try not to give parents too much information too quickly. This may create a feeling of inadequacy.
It is generally best to wait for questions to be asked. Parents are often not necessarily seeking information, but have another need (e.g. to confirm a decision). Try responding with another question.
Research shows that even two minutes of eye contact and attention influences client satisfaction with their health care practitioner even more than physical outcomes.
Answer a question with a question. For example if the child asks "what would you do?" , you could respond, ''That's a hard situation for you, isn't it?"
Use silence and pauses
Learn to be comfortable with pauses and silences during conversations as it allows the child to reflect and gather their thoughts. Try to fight the urge to fill in the silences with questions, advice, or information.
Use your body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice to show that you are interested in what the child has to say.
Remember, the child may not remember everything that was discussed, but they will certainly remember how you made them feel!
Try to be aware of subtle communication differences, as well as your own personal biases regarding culture and deafness.
Pitfalls to avoid
Assuming the child understands something that has not been said explicitly.
Promising more than you can deliver, such as: “We will get you hearing perfectly well again…” if this is not possible.