Handling a child with autism spectrum disorder can require some finesse. Unlike other children, an autistic child needs special care.
This does not mean an autistic child is not going to thrive and have a successful life with the right approach. It just means that you need to be aware of how you can raise your child in an environment that promotes their safety and encourages their healthy development.
One of the things people struggle with when it comes to helping their autistic children is teaching them how to communicate with the people around them.
1. Encourage Play With Others
One of the main ways you can get your child to communicate with others is by setting up interactions with other children. You can do this by scheduling time for play with other children during the day.
Having your child interact with others their age can help them start communicating. Even if your child only uses non-verbal communication, it is a good starting place. Playing puts children in a situation in which they need to communicate with others.
2. Simplify Your Language
When dealing with children, whether autistic or not, it is better to considerably simplify your language when speaking. Simplifying your language is doubly important when communicating with an autistic child because it makes them more likely to listen to what you are saying without losing interest.
You can also use gestures and different actions when speaking to keep their attention for a longer time. Using simple language allows them to follow your words and helps them commit these words to memory so that they can use them when trying to communicate.
3. Focus On Your Child’s Interests
Understanding your child’s interests and incorporating them into the methods you use when trying to encourage communication is going to be quite helpful, and makes the process much easier.
You can also use these interests to encourage their language learning. By simply pointing out different words related to a topic that interests them.
4. Create Opportunities For Interaction
If you are unsure how to make your child communicate with you, try creating interactions between you and your child. For example, you can place their favorite toy in a place they cannot reach so that they are required to ask you for help. You can also get them difficult to operate toys so they communicate with you for help.
5. Use Social Stories
Social stories are simple; they are short stories that help autistic children learn about norms, communication skills, and how to deal with different situations they might find themselves in. It can also be used to teach morals and values.
If you are unsure how to use such beneficial tools to help your child communicate, click here for more information. Social stories have proven to be quite helpful when trying to encourage your child to communicate with others.
6. Speak With Them At Face Level
Children with autistic spectrum disorder have a hard time concentrating, so it makes sense that you need to try to catch their attention and hold it so that you can convey something. You can hold your child’s attention by simply speaking to them at face level instead of trying to talk down at them.
Being at face level means your child has no other option than to hear what you have to say, and they cannot distract themselves with other stimuli because you are facing them.
Roleplaying with your child can help them understand different social cues and norms that they might not understand otherwise. Roleplaying can be considered a game, but is very beneficial if you do it with the purpose of helping your child communicate better.
8. Give Positive Feedback
Positive feedback works on everyone. Giving positive feedback to your child when they communicate or follow something you said well can encourage them to repeat the action and thus cements various interactions and communication methods.
Remember that your feedback should be equal to the action done. Show appreciation but do not gush over the smallest things. Showing excess appreciation over every tiny thing can make your words and encouragement lose their value, which is something you do not want to happen.
Using these eight tips, you will be able to help your autistic child overcome any obstacles they face when communicating with others and trying to interact in a social setting. Remember that you need to have patience and take their sensitivities into mind when setting up social interactions or when trying to come up with different tools to help you convey social norms and interactions.
While 40% of autistic children are silent or rarely speak, these tips will help your child communicate with those around him or her with ease.