How can one  develop speech and language in non-verbal children or teenagers with autism. This is one of the major concerns of those related with such category.  Researchers  have found out effective strategies to improve this issue. The main thing to remember is that we should consider each person with autism as unique and strategies should be implemented accordingly. Each child is differently abled. A strategy that worked effectively for one might not work as effective for another child or teenager with autism.

As we all know non-verbal communication accounts more than verbal communication  similarly in case of autistic children non-verbal communication with the help of visual supports and assistive technologies makes it easier for them.

The seven strategies for promoting language development in non-verbal children and adolescents with autism are:-

  1. Focus on non-verbal communication. The use of body languages along with voice makes it easier for the autistic children to understand. Gestures and eye contact can build a foundation for language. The usage of gestures should be in a way that the child can easily imitate and relate to it. For example nodding of head, point out a particular items, etc.

  2. Simplify your language. Using simple language while interacting makes it easier for the child to imitate your speech. In case of the child being non-verbal use single words while communicating. If your child speaks single words, try speaking in short phrases or more than what the child speaks.

  3. Allow your child to talk by giving ample response time. It's human tendency to fill in language when a child doesn't respond spontaneously. But always give your child lots of opportunities to respond, even if the child isn't talking. When you ask a question see that it is answered by the child verbally or non-verbally.

  4. Structure the communication according to the child's interest: While communicating with your child make it a point to associate vocabulary with the child's area of interest such as narrating what the child is doing, naming the things used by the child for playing so that the child not be restless. By talking about what engages your child will help him learn vocabulary easier..

  5. Imitate your child.Reproducing your child's sound, behaviours and action motivates for more vocalizing and interactions. As the child gets a reflection of his own actions it helps in taking turns if its feels odd. Always remember while duplicating your child only positive behaviour should be imitated.

  6. Encourage social interaction. The easiest way for a child to learn a language is through interactive play and social interaction. This gives opportunities for the child to develop his communication. Playing variety of games according to the interest, focusing on the different ability of the child like singing, reciting rhymes and by promoting interaction with family members and society develops the language.

  7. Use of assistive devices and visual supports. Training the child with the use of assistive technologies and visual supports fosters the speech and language development. Now a days there are mains apps and devices which helps for this purpose which can do more than take the place of speech.

Parent connect is a forum for the parents of children with autism. It is an initiative to bring together the parents of children with Autism from all over the world. On this you can start discussions about the topics that you need guidance on. By logging into parent connect you can start new topics of discussion. The parents logged into this forum can connect with each other for sharing information and their experiences.

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