Communication is the act of exchanging a message, most often between two people, either verbally or non-verbally, and it starts at the very beginning of life. In the early stages of communication, we may cry or babble in order to calm down or to react to something unpleasant or exciting.
For many children with autism, communication and speech may develop differently or more slowly. Most children with autism also have difficulty understanding that communication is used in tandem with others and is used to convey a message. In addition, some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can develop language, but have difficulty understanding how to use communication properly and therefore need to specifically learn the meaning of their words and actions. How children learn to communicate affects other areas of development, including learning and behavior. There are ways to foster communication with a child on the autism spectrum while at the same time promoting language development.
HOW TO FOSTER COMMUNICATION WITH A CHILD WITH AUTISM?
Here are some strategies that can help foster communication:
Determine your child’s level of communication
It is important to know your child’s current level of communication and move slowly towards his or her ultimate goal. Going too fast and skipping steps can create frustration, despair or unwanted behavior.
Keep it simple
Using too complicated language or using too many words can make understanding and learning more difficult. Start a little higher than your child is currently able to do and move slowly from there.
Use your child’s interests
Motivation is an essential part of communication and can be helpful in teaching your child to ask for something, ask questions or make comments.
Give your child the opportunity and time to communicate or respond.
Children learn to communicate when they need something. Therefore, it is important to successfully create opportunities for them to request items or activities by placing them within sight but out of reach. Provide portions of requested food or pieces of toys to create opportunities for repetition and give them time to formulate a response.
Communicate with gestures
Children can learn to reach or indicate what they want. Children can also learn that you are often drawn to this product or activity by attracting you to what they want. These gestures can be taught individually or as a behavioral chain to promote persistence of communicative intent.
Test digital tools
The Coco application will be an interesting tool to communicate with your child, while participating in his/her learning. The games are adapted, with adapted difficulties. Often, through play, communication is facilitated. We forget the problems of everyday life, and we share a good time.