Center for child development

How to encourage a non-verbal autistic child to communicate

One of the most important parts of our job at the speech therapy centre Ernakulam is to interact with children—both autistic and otherwise—and help them develop their communication abilities so that they can conduct themselves better in their lives. However, it is the intervention of the family, teachers and friends that help the autistic children to better develop their communication skills more than the sessions at a professional speech therapy center in Ernakulam can. As a result, the more interactions happen between these people and the nonverbal autistic child, the better the development any speech & language therapist can induce in them.

Hence, let us see a few ways through which autistic children can be encouraged.

Enter their world and build their confidence in you:

By the very characteristics, most autistic children do not talk to anyone, and this limits the window for them to start a conversation with the children. However, you can use motivating items to enter the world of the child and build their confidence in you. This will make them trust you and your actions. For some children, food can be a motivation, while toys can be the motivation for some others. Using these clues, once you enter their world, you can interact with them and gradually support the development of their communication skills.

Importance of labeling feelings:

One of the major issues that many speech therapy centers in Ernakulam find difficult to make autistic children communicate is the lack of vocabulary. Perhaps, the best way to build vocabulary easily is to label the feelings. For example, when the child reaches for food, tell the child ‘you are hungry’ and keep repeating the same every time the child exhibits the same behavior. This will help the child associate ‘being hungry’ with food and with several such instances will help the child improve his/her communication.

Assuming competency of the autistic child:

Many parents try to talk to their children with autism differently and we have often observed the same throughout our experience as a speech therapy centre in Ernakulam. The parents do so to help the child easily understand what they are saying. However, talking to the children assuming they do not have any speech difficulty over a period of time, can help them. Some of the best speech therapy centers do incorporate such techniques to train the parents in orienting them to talk effectively to non-verbal autistic children.

It must be understood that along with the therapy sessions a child undergoes at a speech & language therapist’s, the support of the parents, the siblings and family members can help the child grow, for sure.

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