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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 2, Lesson 3


When working in teams, there is perhaps no more valuable skill than the ability to communicate effectively. This lesson explores the topic of communication in teams. Information about verbal and non-verbal communication strategies, barriers to effective communication, and culturally sensitive communication is presented.

The Early Steps system is based on a model called 'collaborative consultation.' Collaborative consultation cannot occur without good communication among team members. This lesson outlines the basic tenets of collaborative consultation and discusses the advanced communication skills associated with role exchange, role release and role support. You will be challenged to envision your early intervention team in light of this model.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss the importance of communication, diplomacy and relationship building in the Early Steps system
  2. Describe the components of effective verbal communication (listening, paraphrasing, acknowledging, asking questions, summarizing, giving and receiving feedback)
  3. Describe the components of effective non-verbal communication (posture, eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice)
  4. Discuss barriers to effective communication
  5. Summarize the research on communicating information to caregivers
  6. Discuss culturally sensitive communication
  7. Describe the collaborative consultation model
  8. Explain higher level communication processes, including role release
  9. Understand transdisciplinary teams and the role of the primary service provider


The following resources are necessary for the completion of this lesson. Learners may wish to access and print a hard copy of the resources prior to beginning the lesson and for future reference. These resource documents can be found in the Resource Bank.

Key Words

Definitions of key words are found in the glossary.

  • Culturally sensitive communication
  • Role release
  • Collaborative consultation


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