If a child is experiencing any of the above and they do not have a functional way of communicating it, learning is very unlikely to take place and there is a high potential for challenging behaviour to occur.
A child must be regulated in order for any learning to take placeIt is important that we provide supports in order to teach/ give the children the tools to communicate these needs. Every child is different and will require very individual supports. I have found that if I put detachable visual supports that are tailored to meet individuals needs directly on the table where the child will be sitting, the supports will therefore be in eye view of the child both giving a visual prompt/ reminder as well as being close enough to use as a communication tool (by either pointing at/ within reach to give to an adult/ encourage a child to verbally ask). The photo below shows some examples of visual supports on the tables in my classroom.
Another pupil is currently learning to use symbols to request, as well as learning to use the toilet. Having one clear ‘toilet’ symbol on her table enables a supporting adult to prompt her to go the toilet by showing her the symbol. After a month or so of prompting, she began to request the toilet herself by taking this symbol. I must say here, that was after weeks and weeks of her throwing the symbol off the table!! But it was just placed back on the table (quietly and calmly) and after a while she became used to the symbol being there.
These visual supports help this particular child to communicate and emotionally regulate during lessons and throughout the day.
Read more about emotional regulation in my blog post Emotional regulation: Teaching autistic children to recognise and respond to their emotion