Speech Language Pathologists thrive in communicating with both children and adults with autism. Such individuals suffer in silence and are just waiting to connect with people who are patient enough to understand their situations. Families often struggle to connect with their speech-challenged children, and those who don’t live with such conditions fail to grasp the importance of developing alternative communication methods.
This is where Speech Language Pathologists can aid with their specializations: interacting with minimally verbal and nonverbal children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and helping them form communication techniques through the following strategies.
Be Familiar with Their Motivators
Children have specific ‘motivators’ which stimulate them into activity and interaction. It can be a person, a toy, a movie, etc. For instance, if you observe the child always interacting with a particular person, involve that person through visual strategies (like a picture) to encourage communication.
If the child reaches for the fridge or any food item, create word association by describing the action or feeling of hunger. Say “You are hungry” out loud, and repeat it at every instance that the child carries out the action. When the child hears the words consistently per his actions, he/she will eventually understand what the words mean, enabling progress in communication methods.
Utilize Aided and Unaided Communication
Aided communication uses tools and materials like pictures to convey ideas to children, and for children to express themselves in return. This type of communication serves kids who are incapable of using speech for regular interaction. Unaided communication uses clear body language like facial expressions, gestures, and sign language. Encouraging both forms increases the child’s capability to create extraordinary communication abilities.
Our speech therapy activities for kids with autism help them develop the right communication habits, enabling them to form connections with parents, friends, and other loved ones. Contact us to learn more about our speech development tools and programs.