Message from the Executive Director

Perspective(46) "Fostering Voluntary Communication of Needs"

 If a child has little experience communicating with the people around them and has often done things on their own, what kind of experience do they require in order to be able to communicate what they want and their needs from others? Today, we’re talking about support and care for fostering voluntary communication of needs.

 With regards to this, it is useful to see how a baby interacts and builds a relationship with their rearer (mainly their mother), and comes to communicate their needs during infancy.

 At first, a baby cannot express their needs toward people. They just cry when they are uncomfortable -when they are hungry, their diaper is wet, they are lonely, etc. However, when hearing a baby cry, the rearer @ Contemplates, “Are they hungry or do they need changing?” And A Gives them breast milk or milk, changes their diaper or holds them. BAs a result, if the baby stops crying, they feel relieved at having understood the reason.
 ...When we look at the same process from the baby’s side: Crying = expressing a negative condition (displeasure, dissatisfaction, anxiety, etc.) →The adult realizes, and they are looked after. →Crying stops = recovering a positive condition (pleasure, security, satisfaction, etc.) Through such interactions, the baby recognizes the rearer who responds appropriately as an important person to them, and develops attachment, fear of strangers, follows them, etc. In anticipation of the adult’s interaction, they start to communicate their needs through facial expressions, words, voice, and gestures. The communication of needs is fostered voluntarily, because the baby realizes the joy of communicating and being understood.

 Another key factor in fostering the communication of need is to share fun activities with adults. A child feels joy if an adult pleasantly invites them to do something they like or are interested in. An adult naturally feels that they want to do something for the child. Desire and motivation to do more or do things together are born in the child’s mind through these fun interactions.

 Let’s now put into order the path to fostering this communication of needs and the necessary considerations.

 There are many cases in which children who need support express themselves weakly (crying in a weak voice, expressing poorly, etc.) and do not have many interests, so staff and family members who interact with them directly require observation skills and sensitivity to notice the subtle changes in facial expressions and behaviors, and to respond carefully.

 1. The child expresses their state of mind (pleasure / displeasure) and becomes interested in the people
   or things around them.
 2. The adult notices a child’s subtle signs and guesses their state of mind and responds to them so that
   they can feel a sense of safety and acceptance.
 3. The child feels understood and happy, and anticipates the next response.
 4. The adult responds well to the child’s expectations, the child gains more pleasure and a sense of
 5. The communication of needs gradually becomes clearer through further interactions with the rearer.
   (Frequency of needs increases, the contents of these needs become more expansive and detailed, and
   the child no longer gives up and is able to accept things.)

 The voluntary communication of needs is not adopted passively through repeated training. It is fostered based on the child’s sense of safety and joy received through interactions with their rerarer as stated above. We must bear this in mind and take the time to build a relationship of understanding with one another.

Back to the Message from the Executive Director     Back to the Top
Operated by
Social Welfare Corporation SUISEN FUKUSHIKAI
Himejima Kodomoen 6-3-33 Himejima, Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka 555-0033
TEL:06-6472-6001  050-3541-8075 FAX:06-6472-6002