Children with autism and other spectrum disorders often find it difficult to communicate. Parents of non-verbal children often see them become more and more isolated because they don’t know how to effectively express their needs or wants. There are several skills that can be taught to your child that will open up a new world of communication, allowing them to express themselves using functional forms of communication. Applied Behavioral Analysis is a tool that can help you reach their developmental milestones as well as give them communication skills that will last a lifetime.
Find What Form of Communication Works Best
Most non-verbal children with autism can learn to communicate effectively. The key is finding which type of communication works best for each child. It is possible to teach some non-verbal children to start to talk. If this doesn’t seem to happen, it’s important for them to learn to communicate in other ways using body language/gestures, sign language, picture boards/exchange, or objects and symbols, among others.
Teaching a non-verbal child how to follow instructions can be a challenge. By writing a list of simple steps and going over each one individually, you can begin the process of teaching your child how to accomplish basic tasks that are part of their normal, day to day routine. By making pictures of each step and then carefully explaining and performing each one (sometimes hand over hand), your child can begin to learn to follow basic instructions. Communicating through pictures or hand gestures can help establish a concept or action in a non-verbal child’s mind. By adding an action to it, the child is more likely to retain the information and express themselves accordingly.
Establishing Solid Imitation Skills
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. In this case, imitation is a very effective teaching skill. The best way to teach certain tasks or movements is to have the child imitate them as they are performed by an adult. Using their favorite objects or activities will encourage them to participate. As the child begins to become more proficient at imitating movements, fine motor skills can be introduced as well as speech and other forms of communication. Include play activities to encourage them to interact with other children.
Your Turn, My Turn
Two of the best teaching activities for a non-verbal autistic child is to teach them to take turns and to encourage them to ask for what they want. By requesting a “turn” or chance to do something, the child can begin to express themselves more effectively. In addition to requesting their turn, they must also learn to let others share in the fun. As the child becomes more comfortable letting others take their turn with an object or an activity, the lines of communication will become more established. Using games and other activities that involve taking turns or sharing time will reinforce this skill.
- Functional communication is essential
- There are many ways to effectively communicate
- Learning to follow directions through interaction
- Imitation is a solid teaching tool
- Sharing and taking turns builds trust and improves communication
The staff of Infinite Therapy Solutions uses ABA, or Adaptive Behavioral Analysis, to establish lines of communication with non-verbal children. By establishing a communication goal for non-verbal students, they can begin to establish trust and build a working relationship with each individual child. ABA therapy for non verbal children has been proven to be extremely effective at building strong lines of communication. Infinite Therapy Solutions serves residents who live in the Bayonne area as well as the rest of Hudson County, New Jersey. Call today to schedule an evaluation for your child! Learn to communicate effectively with your child and reinforce the lines of communication with therapies that work! Watching a non-verbal child start to talk and communicate is an amazing experience!