All of these strategies can be modified to every age & skill level!
1. Can’t get something for nothing- Try to always have the child do something to get a desired item or activity. Whether it’s a point, a vocalization, or a verbal request, the child should always have to do something to get something.
2. Use the Visual Schedule- Most classrooms have a visual schedule, but at home the child may not have a good understanding of what is coming. Have the child interact with the schedule throughout the day to tell what comes next, to make choices, and to decrease anxiety.
3. Anticipatory Games- Initiate any kind of repetitive game (pushing cars to each other, chase, peek-a-boo). Make sure the fun part of the game is correlated with a vocalization that repeats. After a few times, wait for the child to make a vocalization to continue the game & then immediately continue.
4. Play ‘Dumb’: Pretend you don’t know where a child’s lunch is or what item the child needs to complete a task. The sillier, the better! Have the child tell you (verbally or gesturally) where to find the item or what to do.
5. Model Social Interaction- Practice the skill of independently interacting with others. For example, you can play a game where you practice entering a room & having a child say 'hi' first.
6. Encourage rather than Discourage Interaction: The attempts to engage by a child with ASD may look different and may even be a little uncomfortable for other children. Help to facilitate the interaction by making it fun for both. For instance, if the child with autism grabs a toy from another child, use the opportunity to have the child request or to institute turn-taking.
7. Improve Imitation Skills: Imitation skills are the foundation for communication. Reinforce gross-motor, fine-motor, oral-motor, and vocal imitation skills.
8. Give the child the words you want him to use-If a child hears only questions, then the child may tend to wait to be spoken to rather than being spontaneous. Instead, model what the child should say in a statement-statement format.
9. A little at a Time- If a child asks for a cookie and gets the whole cookie, that is only one opportunity for communication. Giving the child small pieces of cookie or single puzzle pieces for each request increases the number of opportunities for communication.
10. Behavior is communication! Figure out what the child is trying to say & help them to say it!
For more information, please contact A Child's Potential, Inc. through the contact page on our website or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.
All children can learn.
All children's potential is unlimited