How to help your Child communicate
It's easy for your child to get distracted, loose focus and have difficulty communicating. Autistic children can feel pressured in a conversation because they're not responding fast enough or they don't know the answer. We need to make sure that the stress is lifted and it's ok not knowing the answer. Here are some tips to help you!
When talking to your child use their name
Your child may need not know your talking to them. By repeating their name during a conversation they will recognise their name and know that you are talking to them. before asking a question make sure you use their name so that they know it is directed at them. As humans we will always associate our name to us, helping your child understand this will help them in the future, in school and out-and-about.
Keep it slow, simple and clear
Allow you child time to process and respond at their own speed. They will need time to listen, understand, process, think of a response and then speak. Rushing this process will cause them to loose concentration and loose focus. Give them time to think and time to speak. By keeping questions slow, simple and clear you will more likely get a responses.
Use gestures and pictures
Visual aids are essential at keeping children focused. By gesturing with you hands, using simple movement that they know and understand such as a wave or nodding, this helps the child know that you are listening. Gestures and pictures can help the child visualise in their head what you are trying to communicate to them. For example, if you are talking about their time at school you could use the Visual Aid Routine images to help.
Things to avoid
Like before keep it slow, simple and clear. Try to avoid asking too many questions, it can get tiring which will make your child loose focus. It will be difficult for your child to focus in a noisy environment, don't expect your child to focus in these situations. The noise and movement of others will make the environment stressful, having a conversation during this may make their stress rise. The most important thing is to have patience, it will take time and it will be frustrating but the outcome is worth it!