One of the classic and most common symptoms of autism is the lack of verbal communication abilities, the inability to carry on even a basic conversation. What comes so naturally to us like expressing whether or not we like something, what we did during the day, if something makes us happy or sad or something even simpler like finding out what we’d like to eat, it can actually be nearly impossible to get this information out of an autistic child if you rely on traditional conversational methods.
I don’t have an autistic child but I have worked with autistic children in the past and also directly mentored an autistic young man while he interned in my prior corporate role as a thought leadership project manager for a Financial Times company.
I have learnt that you need to pick your moments with autism children or even adults. Most of them like to have a strict schedule and don’t like to be interrupted. However, if you incorporate a few conversational sessions into their routines, they’re more likely to engage with you, helping you build a bond with them.
The best way I have found to do this with children is by always having a short session which will involve a good deal of talking and expressing and also learning something new.
I always encourage parents of children with special needs who buy our learning products, to let the child select 4-5 different learning cards every day from our sets of 40.
Initially, the idea is just to take one card, observe it in as much detail as possible. For example, in this learning card below, you can spend a good few minutes just looking at the real image and talking to each other.
“Oh wow! So many lions! How many lions do you see here?
Are those baby lions?
Did you know a baby lion is called a cub?
How many cubs do you see in here?
And wow who’s that big lion at the back?
He’s got such a lovely mane!
What do you think they are doing?
Are they resting?
Oh look it looks like it’s drizzling?
Do you think the lion and the cubs are taking shelter in this cave?
A lion goes…. Raaaar!! Talk about colours, whiskers, their shiny fur, make sounds and noises, and so on –
Just this one image will help you get, if not lots, at least a good few sentences, many giggles and so many lovely interactive moments with your autism child.
Once this game becomes a part of their schedule, they will not only enjoy this special interaction time with you but also learn new things and new words, and slowly open up to be able to talk and express themselves freely.
Remember that they are after all just kids, they may not act like other children but you are still talking to someone whose thoughts, mannerisms and attitudes are being formed in an immature brain.
With a little perseverance and practice, you may find that you can talk to autistic children quite easily and give them access to plenty of vocabulary to build on. You will see that the results from this exercise will not only be positive for their development and communication skills but also enjoyable for both of you as you make a strong interpersonal connection.
I hope you find this useful.
My name is Keisha, I am mum to a nearly 3-year old. I have a huge passion for all things learning and knowledge and to instil this natural enthusiasm for acquiring knowledge in children. My methods are all play-based with parental engagement being at the core of all our learning resources. I believe that when you create a memorable experience when teaching anything whatsoever to your child, they are more likely to remember it for a very long time. When parents engage with their children through play, they are also laying the foundations for a lasting bond and relationship with their child.
If you’d like to give our engaging learning cards sets a go, please get in touch, I’ll be very happy to assist you in getting started in this journey with your child.
Teddo Play are an independent educational brand providing many varieties of high-quality play-based learning resources for children of all ages, needs and passions. All of Teddo Play's theme-based sets contain numerous super sturdy visual learning cards that feature real images, facts and information to support children in their cognitive development, help strengthen observational skills in them, make them better and confident communicators and more broadly, contribute hugely to children's overall intellectual development.
You can find us on: https://www.teddo-play.com
Current discount code(s): AUTISMLOVE for 10% discount on any Set of Learning Cards