Henry Tyndale School

Learning & achieving together

Intensive Interaction

Intensive Interaction

Intensive interaction is a communication approach aimed at developing interaction and communication abilities between children and adults with communication needs and the people in their environment. This approach is based on the fundamentals of communication

which are the interactions seen between caregivers and their babies; usually within their first

year of life. The caregiver responds to the actions and noises that babies make and interpret this as communication.

Intensive Interaction involves interacting with people with communication needs by imitating

some of their behaviour, responding to then in a very highly responsive way, and mirroring what they do as a basis to communication and interaction. Therefore, this does not necessarily mean interaction will be verbal. Intensive Interaction focuses on teaching the ‘fundamentals of communication’ - the communication that precedes any speech or language



The fundamentals of communication

  • Attention and concentration span
  • Enjoying interaction or being with another person
  • Turn taking in behaviour exchanges
  • Sharing personal space
  • Using and understanding touch or physical contact
  •  Using facial expressions
  •  Using vocalisations with meaning Understanding/using eye contact
  •  Using non verbal communication
  •  Regulating arousal levels


Intensive Interaction also includes a range of techniques, such as:

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


Intensive Interaction is understanding the use of the fundamentals of non verbal communication and the increasing understanding and use of the fundamentals of verbal communication - meaningful vocalisations).

Intensive Interaction can be used with most of our student in helping them develop all these skills so they can have meaningful relationships with all caregivers.