Communication can be difficult between a parent and child with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are a few different techniques that professionals use to help make communication less of a challenge. One of the most common things you will hear professionals working with a population of children with ASD is to “meet them where they are”. Try to communicate with them in a way that would make sense to them. It doesn’t make sense to make a child who may find communication aversive or uncomfortable to communicate with you on your terms. Let the child show you how they communicate and meet them there. Below are some additional strategies that are often used to make communication easier for children with ASD. For additional information or to speak to a professional, you can do a quick Google search for ABA therapy Bergen County, or ABA therapy center near me.
Gestural communication is common amongst children with ASD. Gestural communication can be defined as using a series of gestures to communicate. For example, pointing, and waving are both forms of gestural communication. Verbal language can be difficult for children on the spectrum and gestures are far less intimidating and sometimes easier to understand. Your child may have their own gestures that they use with you that you will begin to recognize. For example, every time your child wants a snack or drink they point to the refrigerator. While gestural communication is not the ideal form of communication, it is sufficient while a child is working on verbal language or an alternative communication device. That being said, if your child is learning verbal language, pairing the gestures to the verbal (spoken) language can help them process language faster.
Joint attention is where two individuals are focused on the same thing and are both aware that they are having a shared experience. Communication through joint attention is a great way to help build your child’s communication skills and their ability to communicate with you. The trick with joint attention is to follow your child’s lead. Draw a picture together, write a short story together, or just sit with them while they play.
An important factor in a child’s interest in joint attention/ communication during play is engagement. If the game or toy is very engaging and interesting to them they are likely to continue playing even if sharing the space or playing with another individual is non-preferred.
If your child doesn’t have verbal communication, or is working on verbal communication, visual cues can be a great way to increase language and aid in the development of conversation skills. Some examples of visual cues are: paper picture cards, picture cards on a device (communication device). A great example of a commonly used visual cue is a picture of a toilet for when a child needs to use the bathroom. You can also use them for things like requesting a hug, or high five. This allows children who are not yet using verbal language to communicate with others effectively.
Finally, give your child as much space as possible when they are beginning to learn to communicate. Sometimes it will take them a little bit longer to respond, but it doesn’t mean that they weren’t listening. Giving them a little extra time to respond or giving them alternative strategies to communicate are a great first step in better communicating with your child. Feel free to reach out to a professional to learn more about communicating with your child with ASD. A Google search for ABA therapy Bergen County, or ABA therapy center near me should connect you with someone who can help!
Meet the Experienced ABA Therapists at Capable Cubs ABA Therapy Center in Bergen County
At Capable Cubs, we believe that selecting an ABA therapy center near you is an incredibly critical decision with lasting consequences. As a leading ABA services provider in Bergen County, we encourage parents to always ask questions and evaluate our services and therapists without any hesitation.
Our team of highly trained ABA clinicians includes experienced and qualified BCBAs and RBTs who specialize in combining various ABA methods for providing the most effective treatment to your child with ASD. We create a structured roadmap for every child, including extensive initial assessments, comprehensive ABA treatment plans, critical learning milestones and effective discharge plans to successfully transition out of our care. Our goal is to help your child build the skills needed to increase independence, build meaningful relationships, and connect with their community.
Select an ABA therapy center that works best for your family’s priorities, needs, and goals. Get in touch with the Autism specialists at Capable Cubs. Call 201-786-6280 or contact us online to learn more about our quick intake process.