Intensive interaction is a communication approach aimed at teaching communication abilities to children and adults who are still at an early stage of development

Intesive Interaction

Who is it for?

Intensive interaction is used with a range of clients including children and adults with;



  • Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities
  • Severe Learning Disabilities
  • Multi Sensory impairment

What is Intensive Interaction?

Intensive interaction focuses on teaching the ‘fundamentals of communication’ – the communication that precedes any speech or language development. However, the approach can still be used with clients who have some language development.

Fundamentals of communication are;

  1. Attention and concentration span
  2. Enjoying interaction or being with another person
  3. Turn taking in behaviour exchanges
  4. Sharing personal space
  5. Using and understanding touch or physical contact
  6. Using facial expressions
  7. Using vocalisations with meaning
  8. Using/understanding eye contact
  9. Using non verbal communication
  10. Regulating arousal levels

The approach includes a range of techniques including;

  • Physical contact
  • Eye contact
  • Vocal echoing
  • Exchanging non verbal communicant including eye contact, facial expression
  • Behavioural mirroring
  • Turn taking
  • Running commentaries
  • Joint focus activity

Who can implement Intensive Interaction?

A range of people implement intensive interaction on a regular basis, including family members, carers, professionals and teachers. It is important that those implementing Intensive Interaction understand the principles underpinning the approach and have training on how to facilitate two way communication using the Intensive Interaction Approach.

Further information

You can find detailed information about the approach including the latest research on the official Intensive Interaction website. Other useful information can be found here. 

Alternatively if you would like to speak to a Speech and Language Therapist about using this approach and implementing it with your family member or service user, please get in touch and one of our therapists will be happy to assist you.

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