2024 Summer Course: Supporting Social Communication in Children With SEN


Understand the concept of social communication in children with Special Education Needs (SEN) and learn how to meaningfully support their needs with specific effective techniques

Course Approved By The Department Of Education And Skills

  • 10 hours on-demand video material and 10 hours offline learning
  • Online tutor moderation
  • Downloadable articles and resources
  • Access on mobile and desktop
  • Department of Education and Skills-Accredited Summer Course Certificate 2023
  • Full access to the course

Effective communication in reciprocal social interactions remains an area of difficulty for many children, particularly those who have autism, throughout the school years (Rubin and Lennon, 2004). The promotion of social inclusion in education (Chamberlain et al, 2007) has resulted in an increase in the number of children with autism in mainstream classrooms. However, teachers must be taught how to meaningfully connect with the increasing number of children with autism, for example, in order to improve their teaching methods, and also their assessment tools.

Gaining the perspective of the child may support the development of a knowledge base from which to tailor lesson plans which have greater value and purpose because they are based on outcomes informed by the child (Haertl et al, 2013). The dilemma is that social communication difficulties often impact on the ability of the child with autism to share their experiences. There needs to be first an acceptance that they can provide insight in to their own situation (Dillon et al, 2014). Second, the challenges inherent in eliciting the perspective of a child with autism need to be recognised and responded to by being as responsive as possible (Miskelly and Roulstone, 2011). Educators’ leadership and teaching skills will be significantly improved when they learn how to find sensitive and imaginative ways to access an understanding of the child’s experiences, including consideration of modifications to questions, adaptation of questioning style and the use of additional scaffolding techniques in order to understand the child’s everyday reality and individual priorities.

For children, feeling understood is absolutely imperative; otherwise, emotional difficulties may arise, which can often lead to mayhem within classrooms where children act out their emotions and interfere with the learning of others, leaving teachers feeling ill-equipped to manage the situation. Working with children from the perspective of understanding their experience and communicating with children effectively, means that teachers can provide a quality of teaching that is unparalleled in terms of contributing to a long-lasting impact. Tailoring lesson plans to be more empathetic and responsive to the needs of the child means that they will be more engaged and therefore want to learn more. The leadership within schools must incorporate a fully inclusive approach and this has to begin somewhere. After Participants engage in this course, they will be equipped with the knowledge of how to communicate effectively with, and promote social communication skills, in children with SEN.

Content can be downloaded and shared with the principal so every school can implement this innovative ethos with all staff, thus improving the lives of so many more students. As such, teachers’ engagement in this course will directly improve their practice in relation to leadership, teaching, learning and assessment in working with children with social communication and related issues.

This course is ten hours of audio content, visual content and assessment in total, and there are ten hours of recommended reading and resources for you to further develop your own learning.