This process is recommended for people who are hard to reach and are not motivated to be with others.
Intensive interaction is a teaching and learning approach to develop communication between two people. The method works by progressively shared moments or sequences of enjoyable interaction that will often be frequent and short in duration increasing as time goes by. The process is led by the individual with the supporter responding to behaviour and using this behaviour to encourage interaction.
Intensive interaction develops the fundamentals of communication prior to speech, the skills that are generally learnt at the very early stages of development. The core principles are those of tasklessness, that is, a deliberate lack of agenda or any specific target or objective. Adults follow the child’s lead, celebrate any actions or vocalisation as an intentional act of communication – whether it is or not – and try (in the long term) to extend knowledge and understanding of communication interactions. The adult therefore needs to “turn in” to the learner and look for communication moments, so that the act of creating the flow becomes the objective of the session.
This includes using and understanding eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and body language as well as the learning the importance of turn taking and enjoying being with others. The fundamentals of communication form an important part of communications development as without some of these skills it is very difficult to engage in communication.