Intensive Interaction

Intensive Interaction is an approach to working with people with autism and/or severe learning difficulties, which develops the pre-speech fundamentals of communication.

How does Intensive Interaction work?

Intensive Interaction doesn’t need specialist equipment, just an interaction partner who is sensitive and responsive. One of the key principles of Intensive Interaction is that the learner is the person who leads the session, with the interaction partner following the lead, by joining in/imitating, responding and often pausing, to allow the learner to make the next move. These sessions are repeated often and develop gradually, through this repetition.

Intensive Interaction sessions can happen anywhere, most often when the pupils are relaxed and comfortable without any other demands. The swimming pool is a great place for these interactions and often the water allows great opportunities for the pupil to initiate interactions.

Why Intensive Interaction?

Intensive Interaction not only gives our pupils a chance to lead the interaction and develop their communication skills, but also enables social inclusion, giving them a way to feel valued and develop social relationships.

Intensive Interaction sessions develop the Fundamentals of Communication:

  • Learning to give brief attention to another person.
  • To share attention with another person.
  • Learning to extend those attentions, learning to concentrate on another person.
  • Developing shared attention into 'activities'.
  • Taking turns in exchanges of behaviour.
  • To have fun, to play.
  • Using and understanding eye contacts.
  • Using and understanding of facial expressions.
  • Using and understanding of non-verbal communication such as gesture and body language.
  • Learning use and understanding of physical contacts.
  • Learning use and understanding of vocalisations, having your vocalisations become more varied and extensive, then gradually more precise and meaningful.

Intensive Interaction at Tettenhall Wood School

Intensive Interaction is fundamental to life at Tettenhall Wood School and we have two fully qualified Intensive Interaction Co-ordinators, Jade Calleja and Lucy Hankin. They are both qualified to deliver Intensive Interaction training and support school staff to develop their technique.

More information can be found at:

Learning through Social Connection by Treating Autism


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