One of the difficulties that many people face when teaching or even parenting autistic children is breaking down the communication barrier. Youngsters with autism often have difficulties effectively expressing themselves and can become frustrated, particularly if you’re using conventional techniques that don’t take their specific needs into account.
So what can you do to communicate more effectively with an autistic child?
As mentioned, one of the major hurdles that you need to overcome is the actual approach taken towards communication. Autistic children are often highly intelligent; however some can struggle when it comes to the kind of interaction that many of us take for granted. This means that you have to take a different approach and look at supporting their needs a little more.
Imagery and even symbols are often employed as educational supports. These visual aids help to provide messages that are perhaps lost in speech. Retaining the child’s interest is often an uphill struggle, as a result engaging them with something more tangible and stimulating can actually get a fantastic response. It may take time to develop this kind of process and understanding, but ultimately it can work extremely well.
So if you’re attempting to communicate an idea, convey some ground rules or just simply engage, the spoken word is fine but you may wish to support it with other objects or images. This will provide a more complete and easier to understand message that won’t frustrate the child or you.
One technique that some professionals use is to employ some form illuminations. Again, the idea is to provide a stimulating form of communication that engages more than one sense and stimulates the child’s thoughts and imagination. With autism, particularly amongst younger children, you need to explore what the child reacts to and integrate it within their schooling and communications.
Unfortunately communicating is one of the things that really suffers for…