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Language and Communication Asks for specific help to do an activity  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.

Description:

The child will ask for help, for example when they are unable to complete a task due to lack of equipment.

Early years skill:Making Relationships
Early years typical range:16-26m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:PSHE and Citizenship
P-scales/Curriculum level:P5
TAP skill:Social Interaction
TAP level:TAP30
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info

The child must already be able to make a simple request for items (for example: make a choice at snack time).

Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Sabotage! - supported with a picture symbol

A ‘HELP’ picture symbol 

Container the child can see into but can't open e.g. screw-top jar/zip-top bag etc which contains a motivating reward e.g. crisp, raisin, sticker.

 

  1. Put the ‘Help’ symbol in front of the child.
  2. Put the motivating reward into the container.
  3. Shake the container and get the child’s interest.
  4. Give the container to the child, so they can try to get the item out of the container.
  5. Make sure the child can give you the container for you to open it for them. At first you may need to take the container from them, open the it, and give it back to them for a few goes.
  6. When the child can do this, when they are going to give you the container, redirect the child to the ‘Help’ symbol and hold out your hand to receive the ‘Help’ symbol. Say ‘Help …… I want help.’
  7. Wait for the child to say ‘Help’ or hand you the ‘Help’ symbol.
  8. If this does not happen give the child hand over hand assistance in handing over the ‘Help’ symbol. Say ‘Help’ as the child gives you the symbol.

When the child has successfully indicated they want help, give them that help - otherwise the child will become extremely frustrated.

Sabotage! - supported with a sign

Container the child can see into but can't open e.g. screw-top jar/zip-top bag etc which contains a motivating reward e.g. crisp, raisin, sticker.

Make sure you know the sign for help before doing the activity (e.g. Signalong, Makaton).

  1. Put the motivating reward into the container.
  2. Shake the container and get the child’s interest.
  3. Give the container to the child, so they can try to get the item out of the container.
  4. Make sure the child can give you the container for you to open it for them. At first you may need to take the container from them, open the it, and give it back to them for a few goes.
  5. When the child can do this, when they are going to give you the container, say "Help?" and sign help.
  6. Wait for the child to say ‘Help’ or sign help: look for any small indication that they want help, and re-enforce this saying "Help" and signing at the same time;
  7. At first you may have to respond to very small indications from the child that they want help (which at first may be just giving you the container).

When the child has successfully indicated they want help, give them that help - otherwise the child will become extremely frustrated.

Over time you will want to encourage the child to use a clearer indication that they want help. You can do this by:

  • waiting - leave time for the child to make some kind of an indication;
  • appear confused and model the sign and say the word ("Help?"), to see if they can try to be a little more accurate;
  • be sensitive about how long you can wait, and how precise their request is before opening the container for them.
Impossible task!

Materials as needed, for example:

  • Pictures for cutting out e.g. old Argos catalogue
  • Scissors
  • Simple board game
  • Blunt pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Paper
  • Equipment for an activity the child enjoys
  • Bubbles

Ask the child to carry out tasks without giving them the equipment they need.

Make sure the child can get hold of the "help" symbol to hand to you if you are using it. When the child indicates help, you say "Help. You want help." (and sign it).
For example:
  • Ask the child to cut out a picture but do not provide any scissors.
  • Attempt to play a simple board game but do not provide a dice.
  • Ask the child to write their name but have only a blunt pencil; do not provide a pencil sharpener.
  • Put the equipment you need for an activity the child enjoys somewhere the child can see it but not reach it, such as on a high shelf.
  • Produce a bottle of bubbles without the bubble wand inside. Or do the top up very tight so the child cannot undo it without asking for "Help".

See also: https://en.commtap.org/language-communication/initiate-request-items-do-task

Note, for most of these examples the child could potentially ask you for a specific item, or ask you for help - both are valid!

You can easily integrate this into many classroom activities without the need for any extra equipment.

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