In order to communicate and/or to learn to use a language, the learner must have:
Adequate Hearing and Vision
We need to know to what extent the child or adult can hear and see. Such disabilities profoundly hamper communicative responses. Assessment and then stimulation in the multisensory studio, can lead to the training of visual and auditory skills, enjoyment, visual location, discrimination, tracking, scanning, perceiving, visual memory, visual attention, recall and preference.
Body coordination to gesture or sign. Mouth control to form speech sounds. Soft play may assist in developing spatial and body awareness. Stimulus to elicit and refine fine motor movement. Tasting to stimulate appropriate mouth movements. Sound-activated switches and sound effect units to encourage vocalisation.
The ability to remember, to attach meaning, to make speech sounds and the ability to sequence are just some of the processing skills which can be practised. Multiple switch training may assist in the development of recall. Reselecting preferences. Sound effects units, sound switches and other sound activated equipment.
Communication and conversational skills
The knowledge that their action can affect the behaviour of other people in specific ways. Turn taking. Appropriate social response. Contingency awareness. Cause and effect training with switches. Close contact with people and consistent responses. Mutual sharing of experiences so that the carer does not overpower the client. Motivation through the powerful stimulus available.
Something to say
To communicate, the individual must have needs and preferences. From the wide range on equipment available, one can look for something the individual likes, i.e. types of music, tactile experiences, vibration or lighting effects. Then the learner may be empowered to control the stimulus and develop the situation where the individual has experience of communicative intent.
Reasons for communication
The learner must want something in the room or must want to interact with someone. The multisensory studio could provide a positive and beneficial environment in which most individuals will find something they want. The calm ambience could also provide a background for more positive social interaction so they will be encouraged to further interact.
Means of communication
The learner must have a system to communicate with, which is effective and pertinent to the situation that they are in.