What You Can Do Right Now to Help Your Child Communicate

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Communication and comprehension are tricky for kids with autism; there is no doubt about it. Here are 5 things you can do right now to help your child with language skills.

1. Label items around your house. Place words on objects to help your child understand what items are called. Go around your home at least once daily with your child, point to the objects and their corresponding words, and say the words aloud. The visual cue also acts as a reminder to help you remember to talk to your child about his environment. Label items such as: the refrigerator, couch, wall, dishwasher, bathroom, stairs, door, etc.
2. Talk to your child all of the time. If your child is non-verbal, it can be tricky to remember to constantly talk to and with him. However, remember that he can have a different level of receptive language, even if he doesn’t verbally express his words. He is taking information in all the time, so, talk to him. Point things out when you are in the car, in a restaurant, and around your home.
3. Read to your child. Reading is a wonderful and special way to bond with your child. Use expressive tones of voice when reading. Emphasize what your voice should sound like when you see an exclamation point, and inflect your voice when reading a question. Point to pictures, ask questions, and enjoy this time with your child (no matter what his age).
4. Use a picture dictionary. Go through the dictionary with your child, point to words, and talk about their definitions. Talk to him about synonyms and antonyms. You can even use picture/word flashcards to help him build his vocabulary. To expand on this activity, you can write down the word and have him either draw a corresponding picture or he can write down the definition.
5. Eat dinner together as a family. Mealtimes are the perfect time to model language and conversation skills. Take turns talking and asking questions. If your child needs help with topics to talk about, you can write some down on flashcards and let him (and everyone at the table) choose one.

Language and communication isn’t easy for your child, but with these tips, strategies, and activities you are giving him more opportunities to be successful.

Which strategy are you going to try first? Please share below.
 
 

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