Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Children with ASD often have difficulty learning language skills. Learning Language is an evidence-based program that has been proven to help children with ASD learn to talk.
Teaching Autistic Children How To Talk
Having a child or children with autism is a truly unique experience since no two people on the spectrum are exactly the same. Any issue or milestone that you approach with your autistic child should be approached with a plan of action set out by you and your healthcare professional, be it behavior ABA therapy, play therapy or just learning to talk. Learning to talk is something that doesn’t happen quite the same way for autistic children as for other children, even if the child in question is more verbal than nonverbal.
One of the most notable symptoms of autism is the difficulty that autistic children face when learning to speak and understand the words and meanings of others when they speak. While some children cannot speak at all, others only have slight difficulties; you have to wait until you reach the appropriate time in the child’s life before you know what you’re dealing with. As we mentioned, any plans that you make to handle your child’s speech issues should be laid out with either a speech therapist or your medical professional, but we have some basic tips that you can put into action at home to help your child on their way. If you take note of these tips and apply them when the time is right, you’ll be laying the groundwork for your child to learn to speak with a lot less difficulty.
Increase Social Interaction
Children are adaptable, even in cases when you think an autistic child might not be. Social situations provide opportunities for your child to chat on their own and also increase the feeling that they are just like other kids. If you seclude an autistic child, they will eventually begin to feel that they are “other” and are less likely to develop at an increased rate.
Consider Their Interests
Don’t focus on the act of getting your child to talk. This might seem counterintuitive, but the more you focus on an issue like this, the more stressful it becomes and the more of a task it seems. If you focus on your child’s interests and offer them chances to explore these interests, speech may come more naturally. Try giving your child their favourite toy and just watching them play. They may even start talking to themselves! Keep this toy somewhere out of reach so that your child needs to ask you for it. Pretend that you don’t understand their nonverbal requests and insist, gently, that they ask you for what they want.
Use Simple Words and Sentences
Don’t overcomplicate things. Start with the absolute basics of the basics, and repeat these words slowly and clearly. Talk to them in simple phrases, and they may eventually begin to understand the meanings and parrot them.
Label Things : Not literally, unless your child is already able to read! If your child is displaying a feeling, tell them the word for that feeling. If your child is nonverbally communicating about a specific item, tell them the name of that item.
Go With The Flow : Some days will be easier than others, while some may be incredibly difficult. Pay close attention to your child’s emotions and mental state. Is today really the right time to push them extra hard on asking for something verbally? If they are already overwhelmed and stressed out, it may be better not to add to their full plate and pick up the speech lessons another day.
Join an Education Group : Groups, where parents can get together and share their experiences of what has worked for them and what hasn’t, can help you feel like your load is shared. These groups are an excellent way for the parents of autistic children to feel less isolated and stressed out themselves, hopefully learn something and then take that knowledge and a renewed sense of calm home to their kids.
Draw Pictures : You may find that your child is better able to understand pictures than words. Drawing pictures to represent the words that you are trying to teach your child might help them understand on their own terms and then come to associate the pictures with the words and eventually use the words.
Have Faith : Have faith in yourself and your child. This process can be a tricky one, and it can be frustrating and challenging at times, but it is worth it in the end. Children just want to be loved, so show them how much you love them even if you’re both having a bad day, and things will become that little bit easier.
We hope that these tips make your life at home with your family a little bit easier and, ultimately, a little bit more talkative.