Tips to help your child with autism find their voice
Although the initial news of a diagnosis of nonverbal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can leave parents feeling overwhelmed, research shows that many children with autism have the ability to progress past their developmental delays. Here are four tips for helping your child with autism find their voice.
TIP ONE: SOCIAL PLAY
All children learn through play, and that includes learning the language. Any game or activity that promotes social interaction can increase language understanding. This could include:
During these interactions, remember to encourage eye-level, face-to-face contact so your child can see and hear your words as you verbalize.
TIP TWO: REINFORCE POSITIVE IMITATIONS
As long as your child is behaving in a positive way, don't hesitate to mimic their sounds, even if they're not typical or standard words. By repeating these sounds and positive behaviors, you will encourage your child to hear, process, and mimic your words and reactions. This may eventually lead to your child learning to take turns, which teaches conversational skills.
TIP THREE: INCORPORATE NONVERBAL GESTURES
When you model nonverbal communication such as gestures and eye contact your child will be encouraged to do the same. It is beneficial to exaggerate gestures and vocalization in a variety of tones. By acting out your words, you can make it easier for your nonverbal child to process their meaning.
TIP FOUR: START SMALL & DON'T FORGET TO CELEBRATE
It's important to start slow with simple communication. Doing this will help your child follow what you're saying and make it easier to imitate your speech. If your child is nonverbal, try starting by speaking mostly in single words rather than complete sentences. You can always build on simple vocabulary later.
Life Skills Autism Academy offers highly-specialized, center-based treatment programs designed to provide the best developmental experience possible for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For more information on our programs, or to learn more about autism, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or give us a call at 1-888-915-4551.
- Reciting nursery rhymes
- Pretend play or acting out scenes