Communication is the means through which someone with a learning disability or autism controls their environment and experience, expresses their feelings, thoughts and emotions and the way they make sense of the world around them. It is the second step in the Foundations of Good Support.

Communication builds on the first step, Structure: the deliberate arrangement of events, activities, routines, rituals, interactions and opportunities so that they happen in ways people can understand.

Download the Communication resource

You can view more videos on how to support communication on YouTube.

Communicating with someone with a learning disability or autism

Many people with learning disabilities find it difficult to use or understand conventional methods of communication, such as speech, with often leads to individuals being misunderstood, experiencing failure and exclusion from events, activities and relationships.

Processing information presenting verbally is often difficult for people with autism, who have difficulty with abstract concepts, literal understanding, sequences etc. For some verbal communication is high arousal and can exacerbate sensory overload

It is therefore important that each person is supported to communicate and understand the communication of others using methods that are appropriate to their skills and preferences.

Download the Communication resource

This resource, written in a clear accessible style by Dr Jill Bradshaw, is part of the Foundations of Good Support - a step by step guide to assessing the quality of support being provided for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, and identifying what might need changing in order to improve it.