One of the classic symptoms of Autism is a deficiency in verbal communication and social skills. Most autistic children cannot speak, and some have trouble with communication. Every autistic child is different, so their difficulty to talk is also different. Therefore, it is imperative to assess their need and learn strategies to teach an autistic child to talk. This article will discuss seven autism communication strategies for promoting language development in nonverbal children and adolescents with Autism.
Applied behavior analysts and others who work with children and even adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder commonly face a problem, how to communicate with a nonverbal autistic child.
Usually, typical conversational methods are nearly impossible to communicate with them. So then, the question arises of how to communicate with an autistic child? In addition, families and other relatives are concerned about will my autistic child will ever talk?
Many published pieces of research reveal that even after age 4, many nonverbal children with Autism eventually develop language. Therefore, the critical point is you should have a conversation with nonverbal autistic children.
They are helping their autistic child to cure at home. So, they want to know how they can promote language development in nonverbal children or teenagers with Autism. And the good news is that research has created several effective speech strategies.
Tips to Make Conversation Easier
Before discussing the strategies to promote language development in autistic children, let’s talk about tips. Here is the list of recommendations that make talking to autistic children easy.
Help Them to Talk
Yes, you can help them speak as most adults find it difficult to talk with kids. So, they avoid talking with autistic children and take the easy way out. It is the BIG MISTAKE you are making unknowingly.
Do not assume that if an autistic child does not respond to you, he does not want to talk to you. However, you should not take it personally and stop gently involving autistic kids in your conversation.
Pick Your Right Moments
Not every moment is right to talk with an autistic child. They are maybe having a tough time or deeply involved in something. At such moments they will not respond to you. Wait for them when they are calm.
Go with the Rhythm
Obsessions are one of the characteristics of Autism. Children with Autism may want to discuss one particular topic. As a result, you might find it boring.
But this is the only approach to get your child in conversation. On the contrary, if you force an autistic child to have a conversation in the direction you want it to go. The result may be catastrophic. They may ignore you or will have an outburst.
Be Focused and to the Point
Autistic children cannot understand metaphors, allusions, or any abstract statements. Therefore, make sure that your sentences are short and direct when talking to them.
The Pace of the Conversation
It is another critical factor to be considered as Autistic children have to work to parse out what they hear. Therefore it is essential to keep the pace of the conversation at a level that the child can maintain.
Nonverbal Signals are Vital.
You should pay close attention to the nonverbal signals of your child with autism. Because autistic child has trouble communicating, they often develop various types of behavior to tell you more. If you pay attention, you will learn to interpret them and better understand your child with autism.
Remember, They are Just Kids and Deserve Love.
No matter how old they are, their thoughts and attitudes are formed in an immature brain. Have patience while talking to them, and with little practice, you will have a positive interpersonal connection. The results will be positive in terms of developing communication skills and enjoyable relationships.
Top 7 Strategies for Promoting Speech in Nonverbal Children and Adolescents with Autism
Here are the top seven best ways to teach an autistic child to talk.
Encourage Interactive Play
Playing game is a secondary source of learning. Children can learn social and communication skills through play. In addition, interactive plays are a source of communication. Therefore try a variety of games to have enjoyable communication opportunities with your child.
Mimicking Your Child’s Sound
When you imitate your child’s sound, your child will be encouraged to copy your sound. In this way, he will enjoy and take turns.
Focus on Gestures, Nonverbal Communication
Gestures are part of communication — for example when you say “yes”, you nod your head. These kinds of gestures are easy to imitate. So, when your child looks at something, take the cue and help him.
Give your Child Opportunity to Speak
It is natural to feel the urge to fill in language when a child looks at something and just hands it to him. But, Ohm…. You missed an opportunity to communicate. For example, when he looks at the cookie, you understand what he wants with a fraction of a second, but wait and watch for any sound, then respond promptly.
Small Sentences and Simple Conversation
If your child is nonverbal, keep your speech limit to single word e-g ball, roll, mama, or dada. And if he can speak a single word, then talk in short phrases.
Draw Pictures to Represent the Words
Follow your child’s interests. If he cannot read or is not interested in reading, draw an illustration. Focus on nonverbal autism activities. For this purpose, sit next to your child and draw a picture that describes your words. For example, ask,” Mike, would you like to play with a ball or Bear?” while you draw both types of toys. And ideally, Mike will draw a picture of the toy he wants.
Visual Supports and Devices
Technology has provided many devices that can foster the language development of autistic children. Lots of apps are available for autistic children to learn speech.
They touch the picture on the screen of the iPad or any other device. The device produces a sound and helps your child to learn sounds. In this way, these devices allow and teach your autistic child to talk. These devices also help your child with autism to use these apps to show his requests and thoughts.
Be careful because using tablets, phones, computers results in various outcomes. Always track their activities.
Your child therapists can guide you to select the best strategies for encouraging your child’s language development with autism. Discuss your child’s little achievements as well as difficulties with them. So, they can guide you with good understanding. Together we can support children with autism.
Hi, my name is Eva. I am currently practicing as a clinical social worker, that being my childhood desire. As a licensed therapist holding MPhil in Clinical Psychology, I am now on biomadam to provide the natives with the best family advice! Do you have any questions? See you in the comment section.