Your Autistic Child CAN Communicate! Tools And Aids That Can Help

For every spot on the autism spectrum, there is the same-named neurological condition doing different developmental things to different kids. That said, there are just as many ways of communicating with your autistic child as there are variances in the spectrum. Since you absolutely want to be able to communicate with your child, you need to know how autism communication works, what special tools exist, and how to use those tools.

Hand-over-Hand Sign Language

Sign language broke the silence for hundreds of thousands of deaf children in America. Therefore, it should not surprise you that sign language is also being taught to children on the spectrum. Your child can be verbal, non-verbal, or have limited communication skills, but still "speak" clearly using sign language. You, too, will have to learn sign language along with your child, but it will be worth it when your child learns enough to communicate in a full sentence in sign language.

To teach and learn sign language to your child, a hand-over-hand method is frequently used. That is because your child does not yet know how to place his/her fingers in the right sign positions. When he/she masters the hand positions, then he she will be able to hold regular "conversations" with you.

Low-Tech Velcro Communication Boards

Low-tech velcro communication boards use the sticky loops and various homemade tags to create a communication board. You can do the same with a roll of velcro, a three-ringed binder, and some small pictures or printed pictures for the "symbols." The binder flips open to reveal a lot of words and velcroed areas to which you can stick your little pictures. Then you have to show the binder to your child, and teach him/her how to move the pictures and words to create statements, questions, and answers to questions.

Tablets with Autism Communication Apps

Tablets have become the main source of communication between parents and their children with autism. Special communication apps can be downloaded and used to communicate with your non-verbal child. (Keep in mind that just because a child does not talk to you does not mean you cannot communicate with him/her. Usually, he/she can hear and comprehend everything you say, but be unable to "talk" back.)

If you do not have a tablet at home, there are ways to get one for free. There are several autism charities that support families by giving them a tablet for communication purposes. It just requires an application and documentation of your child's diagnosis and ability to communicate with/without an assistive device.

For more information, contact an expert, like Terri Matthews.

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