Tip Four: Take Time To Pause And Listen
It is in a parent’s DNA to want to help their child and that comes to language-learning too. I found myself in a hurry to verbalize on behalf of my son by providing the words when I anticipated his initial struggles to communicate were on the verge of a meltdown. His psychiatrist once told me in a joint session to try to hear him as much as I talk to him. That was wise advice I will never forget and apply in many situations. As a result, I find I have learned from my son probably more than I’ve taught him.
Even when there wasn’t the potential for a meltdown, I would tend to over-explain something that I thought he wasn’t understanding. But it became apparent that I needed to learn his processing ability is different than mine and just because he may not respond right away, didn’t mean what I first said wasn’t in the process of sinking in.
When you ask a question or notice your child may be in need of something, pause and be ready to respond at their first sound or gesture. The immediacy of your reaction to his effort, even the smallest attempt, will help teach the importance of reciprocal communication.
Rise To The Challenge
Positive Action recognizes the value of each and every person. We help special needs students integrate into mainstream classrooms while equipping them with the essential skills and motivation to thrive.
Positive Action can help you assess your special education students needs and plan how to meet them with Individualized Education Plans.
I am very grateful for these lessons. They fulfill a need that so many children are lacking in the educational process today. Linda Davis, 2nd Grade Teacher, Davis Elementary
If you want to see how Positive Action can increase educational success at your institution or organization contact us by phone, chat, or email or schedule a webinar with us below.
Why Do Some Children Have Clothing Sensitivities
All people process sensory information in their own way. It is why some of us like spicy foods while others want nothing to do with the heat. Some people enjoy rock concerts and others cant stand to be around all that racket. Our sensory systems have a tough job to do. They help us sort through all of the incoming information that our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and skin help to capture. The sensory system plays a role in modulating some of that information, meaning it helps the information that seems important to stand out while blurring other information into the background. It also plays a role in habituation- learning that there isnt a need to respond to certain ongoing sensory information, such as the way our clothes feel throughout the day. The unique way an individual processes sensory information can cause them to sometimes be hypersensitive or hyposensitivite . Our perception of the world around us directly influences our behaviours and emotions.
Children with clothing sensitivity fall into the hypersensitive category. The feel of clothing can be very irritating for these children. Because of difficulties with modulation and habituation, the feeling of the clothing stays in the forefront of their mind and they do not get used to the feeling over time. Furthermore, children with autism can sometimes have difficulty with temperature regulation, meaning what feels hot or cold to you, may not feel uncomfortable to your child, and vice versa.
You May Like: Level 2 Autism Spectrum
Draw Pictures Torepresent The Words
Follow your childs interests. If he cannot read or not interested in reading then 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.
Effective Teaching Strategies For Children With Autism
In some cases, the learning characteristics of students with autism may differ from the rest of your class. But luckily, the right teaching strategies and methods can keep children with autism on track to finish the school year strong. Try these tips, educational accommodations, and resources for students with autism to help them learn concepts that might otherwise be difficult for them to grasp.
You May Like: Does Speech Delay Mean Autism
Also Check: Do People Outgrow Autism
Tip Three: Nonverbal Communication Is A Key Start
Communication begins for babies with gestures and eye contact. Do the same for your nonverbal child at whatever age he or she is starting.
When you model such communication, your child will be encouraged to do the same and respond in kind. It is even beneficial to exaggerate gestures and vocalization in a variety of tones. The more you “act” out your words, the easier it is for your child to process their meaning. For example, nodding your head when you say, “yes,” or pointing a finger to an object while excitingly saying, “look,” will give context and exemplify the meaning of words.
Remember to reciprocate in the same way. When your child points or gestures to something, respond by reaching for what is pointed to while saying the word for it. That will empower your child by feeling successful at getting his or her message across.
Nonverbal Signals Are Very Important
You should pay close attention to nonverbal signals of yourchild with autism. Because autistic child has trouble in communicating, theyoften develop various types of behavior to tell you more. If you pay attentionthen you will learn to interpret them and you will have better understanding ofyour child with autism.
Recommended Reading: Autism Speaks Symbol
How To Teach A Non
Learning to speak can be difficult for autistic children. People sometimes assume that this means that their child is unable to think or to comprehend the world around them.
This is so not true.
There are tons of autistic authors that dismantle this notion. I highly recommend reading the book, How Can I Talk if My Lips Dont Move? by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay. Its a wonderful book about the inner world of a non-verbal autistic boy as he grows.
Give One Instruction At A Time
One of the well-known tricks you may have heard of is giving one instruction at a time such as, FIRST brush your teethand THEN use the bathroomAND THEN go to bed. Kids with autism often get confused and bogged down if you give them more than one instruction at a time, or they try to do it all at once and end up sitting on the toilet brushing their teeth at the same time. I found if I included the words first, second, and then, or such phrases that helped all three of my children follow directions better, they were able to be given more than one direction at a time.
Don’t Miss: Autism Awareness Month Symbol
Talk About Them Like Theyre Not In The Room
It really is surprising how many people Ive seen doing this. The assumption is made, often without the speaker realising, that since the autistic person is looking away in silence, they must not be listening.
Which, of course, is quite a harsh assumption to make about people who simply communicate differently. Partly because it would be disrespectful to talk about any non-autistic person as if they werent in the room , and partly because of the things that can end up being said if you think theyre not listening.
Ill let this badly-drawn picture do the talking.
When I worked in special education, on principle I always talked to the nonverbal students. I never expected any kind of communication in response, because that wasnt the point. The point was to give them the experience of social communication.
For example, one lunchtime I was sat outside with a twelve-year-old lad who Im going to pretend was called James. I was talking to him, mainly about how much the weather sucked . I was also quite sad that day for reasons I wont go into, but I carried on talking to him despite not being in a talking mood. After all, his needs took priority over mine.
As I talked, he said nothing, did not look at me, and gave me no indication that he was listening. Nonetheless, at one point I simply said,
I like you, James. Youre a nice lad.
Everyone communicates, some just in their own way. And listening is part of communication too.
Dressing With Low Vision And Blindness
Starting when your child is an infant, narrate the dressing and undressing process as you go, Now Im taki1ng off your socks. When you start to teach independent dressing, use the hand under hand or hand over hand technique.
Hand Under Hand
You perform the action and your childs hands rest on top of yours. This is great in the beginning stages so your child can get used to the movements and motions.
Its also a good way to teach shoe tying. Be sure to stick to a consistent method and describe what you are doing as you go. Have your child sit next to you so the perspective is correct.
Hand Over Hand
As your child starts to become proficient, you can switch to this method. Here, your child is the one doing the actions and your hands are over theirs to guide as necessary. This lets them start to get dressed independently, with help when needed.
The Importance of Organization
Once your child can get dressed alone, organization becomes very important. Put only one to two types of clothing in a drawer, like socks and underwear, or t-shirts and sweaters. You can use drawer dividers to help separate them. Separate clothes in the closet, too. This makes it easier for your child to pick their own clothes.
Use ice cube trays, small boxes, or bags to separate jewelry, hair ties, and accessories.
Don’t Miss: What Does It Mean To Be Mildly Autistic
How To Communicate With A Nonverbal Autistic Child
There are an abundance of ways to help promote communication with your nonverbal autistic child.
They dont replace speech therapy or other interventions that are uniquely designed to the needs of your child. But they can be a great support at home, things that you can do to establish communication with your child.
Talk: Keep talking with your child. Describe things to them. Include them in conversations and dont leave them out as if they are not there. Your child will still be able to learn from this action.
Use simple language: Refrain from using sentences with a lot of words in them. Try to use one or two word sentences. Once your child can use one word phrases, you can move into using two phrase sentences to give them direction or describe something. This will help them improve without overwhelming them.
Make the most of playtime: Play is an amazing tool to both entertain and practice with children. While playing, you can have the opportunity for communication. While playing with toys, you can encourage imitation. You can also involve fun activities like singing or dancing so as to foster social interaction.
Go different ways: Nonverbal children with autism may express their emotions through some other ways than speaking, like dancing, art, hand movements, and body movements. You can try to help them express themselves better through activities like finger painting or sensory activities.
Encourage The Child To Draw A Picture Of Their Story
If youre teaching your students how to write stories, but your Autistic student is having difficulty coming up with story ideas or putting their ideas into words, have them draw a picture of their stories ideas and events. Once they finish their pictures, you can then ask them what is happening in each sequence.
After they tell you the first sequence, then encourage them to write exactly what they told you. Continue this process until their story is written.
Read Also: Is The Actor On The Good Doctor Autistic
Signs My Autistic Child Will Talk
You may ask yourself will my nonverbal autistic child ever speak?. The answer to that question is not easy to give.
Research shows that nonverbal children of age 4 who were nonverbal until that point could produce single words and phrases without verbs.
The important thing here is to provide the right support and help to your child, suitable to their needs. If your child is babbling, or trying to convey something through their behavior, you should lean into it and practice speech exercises.
Many parents and caregivers report that they have had success with such exercises at home, along with the help of professional intervention like speech therapy.
Tips To Teach Sequencing:
- Use pictures at the initial stage because children would be able to learn the concept quickly and easily from pictures than from words.
- Concisely explain the event/task.
- Start from a simple and clear picture which has 2 steps that explain an event in one direction only
For instance,1.) Describing before and after.2.) What comes next?
Then, gradually improve the task which has up to 3 steps.
For example,2.) Blowing Balloon
- Next, move on to the 4 step task and so on.
- While teaching a task that has more than 4 steps, it would be effective to use numbers under each step/picture so that the child would remember better by following the number sequence.
- After that, when the child masters the skill, include monosyllable or bi-syllable words or simple sentences related to the picture depending on the childs age-appropriate cognitive development. For example, planting
- To make the activity complex, jumble up the picture cards and ask the child to re-arrange in an orderly or sequential manner. While doing so, remember not to include numbers anywhere in the picture for this particular activity.
- Likewise, using the shape beads, a sequencing concept can be taught.
- Teaching sequence might be challenging for parents and for the child to learn as well, but a consistent practice in a fun and interesting way would help to achieve the set goals.
Dont forget to download and learn from the worksheets.
Dr. S. Vishnu Priya
You May Like: Autism Type 2
Talk About The Childs Interests
Narrow or extreme interest in specific topics is a core autism symptom. Children can be fascinated by almost anything, including maps, numbers, recipes, geography, and more.
For children with autism, talking about these topics brings comfort. They enjoy sharing knowledge, and they can talk endlessly about the subject without asking for your feedback.
Bond with the child by listening to the topic. Ask questions if you can. Avoid changing the subject. Just let the child talk until you know one another better.
Small Talk Can Loom Large: Teaching Your Child The Flow Of Conversation
At a holiday gathering, your 8-year-old son is telling his aunt exactly how he went about constructing a complicated Lego spaceship. He spares no detail as Aunt Ann smiles and nods, eyes glazing over. You walk over to join them and try to help him become aware of her nonverbal clues and wrap up his one-sided conversation. With no success, you ask if Aunt Ann wants to try the wine and cheese in the next room. I didnt even get to the engine, your son grumbles.
Small talk sounds easy enough, but it can be a challenge for those who struggle with social communication. A two-way conversation can quickly end in awkward silence, embarrassment or can become one-sided.
If your child has difficulty with perspective taking , its likely that conversational skills dont come easily. With practice, your child can develop awareness of topics that other people might want to talk about by reading social clues based on what they already know about the person , what theyve heard the person talking about already , or what the person is wearing . Practicing these skills at home or in the community with people your child already knows well will increase the childs ease with people he/she doesnt see very often.
Recommended Reading: Is The Good Doctor Offensive
Do Make The Effort To Talk To Them
Because talking to kids with autism can be difficult, many adults take the easy way out and just avoid including them in conversations in the first place. But thats a mistake both you and those children can benefit from attempts at conversation, even if they are not always successful.
Theres also a tendency to assume that if an autistic child doesnt respond or shuts you down that they dont like you or dont want to talk. But thats not always the case that signal would be clear from a neurotypical individual but for someone with ASD, its just a part of the syndrome. Dont take it personally, and dont stop trying to gently involve autistic kids in your conversations. They probably want to engage, they just have more difficulty figuring out how.
Create The Optimal Learning Space For Each Child
Sensory overload is one of the main things that make learning more difficult for Autistic children. If there is too much going on in the classroom, the child can break down, throw a tantrum, and stop learning processes. The room where you teach an Autistic child how to write sentences needs to be calm, uncluttered, with the lights lower than usual.
Seven Tips On Developing Small Talk For Those With Autism
The following tips and suggestions from my book Make Social Learning Stick! may help your child feel comfortable talking with whoever shows up at the party or dinner table:
1. Social Spying: When youre out in the community, ask your child to observe other people and try to infer what the person might be interested in or how people are related or connected to one another. Learning to make guesses about others helps in finding good topics of conversation.
2. Topics for Small Talk: Help your child make a list of topics that most people like to talk about in shorter conversations .
3. Conversation Cards: Create cards with open-ended questions like, What was the best part of your day? or Whats your favorite movie and why? Place them in the middle of the dinner table and take turns picking up a card and posing a question. Practicing at home will make it easier to converse with people who are less familiar.
4. Conversation Cards at a Holiday Meal: People of different generations can get to know one another better as they take turns answering questions about their lives. For example, ask about a persons favorite vacation or first pet or a favorite movie.
5. Wonder Questions: Wh questions are good conversation starters. Make a visual cue or prompt to remind your child of these words and practice using them at home during family meals.Feel free to copy and use the visual from my book Make Social Learning Stick!