What is intensive Interaction?

Intensive Interaction is an approach to teaching early communication and interaction skills. 

It aims to teach the basic fundamental skills of communication as well as helping to develop sociability, cognitive abilities and emotional well being. Intensive Interaction is about sharing quality time with a focus on supportive and enjoyable shared experiences. In these, the learner feels safe and can develop their competence and confidence as a communicator in contexts they understand and find meaningful.

Intensive Interaction can be used by a wide range of professionals, family and friends. We use Intensive Interaction at any time and place, taking opportunities to interact in this way as they arise throughout the school day.

Who is Intensive Interaction for?

It is a useful approach for people with complex or severe communication and learning difficulties. It may also be suitable for people who experience physical or sensory impairments such as those relating to autism which cause difficutlies in communicating or relating to others. Intensive Interaction can be useful for people who have acquired some speech and language ability who would benefit from further opportunities to develop fundamental communication skills.

Fundamentals of communication

  • Enjoying being with another person
  • Developing the ability to attend to that person
  • Taking turns and building sequences of activities
  • Sharing personal space
  • Understanding and using eye contacts
  • Understanding and using facial expressions
  • Understanding and using physical contacts
  • Understanding and using non-verbal communication
  • Using vocalisations with meaning

Intensive interaction works by gradually developing enjoyable and relaxed interactive sequences between the learner and the interaction partner. During these sequences the fundamentals of communication are rehearsed and learnt in a free-flowing manner. This allows the learner to lead and the interaction partner to respond, joining in with their chosen activities.

Intensive interaction is based on research on how we develop the early communication skills upon which all our relationships, knowledge and expertise are founded. But the most important aspect is that it is enjoyable learning for both parties!

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The Phoenix team will be glad to help you anytime with general questions, suggestions or comments.

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