What is the best way of effectively communicating things to my child with Aspergers?
Communicating with a child who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be a delightful experience. It can just as often be a frustrating experience. Children with ASD can have a wide range of communication skills, so it’s important to tailor any communication specifically to your child. Many times, you’ll have to try some communication techniques to see if they’re effective.
Be sensitive when speaking with a child with Asperger’s (high functioning autism). Understand that your child might not be able to maintain eye contact or that he might not want you sitting close to him or touching him. Understand that you will need to teach him how to communicate effectively.
Using a tool such as Interactive Training Cards, created by Joan Green, can help you teach your child about communication. Interactive Training cards were developed by special educators specifically to help facilitate communication with people with communication delays or difficulties. Each set of communication cards comes with 120 2”x2” laminated cards that relate to the topic of the set. The set also includes four sentence and cards containing common words, such as yes, no, thank you, no thank you, and more. Words are printed on the front and back of each picture.
These Interactive Training Cards come in several sets, each set having a different theme. The Food Set includes foods for each meal, snacks, condiments and kitchen materials and utensils. The Home and Health Set include chores, hygiene activities, body parts and physical ailments. Another set contains Elementary and High School Activities.
Understand that communicating with a child with ASD will be repetitive and time consuming. It can often be frustrating. Be patient. Often children with ASD are slower to process things they hear, so expect the pace of conversation to be different than in a standard conversation. Give your child time and space to respond appropriately and to formulate a response.
When working on communication skills with your child, try to engage him in a topic of interest to him. This will help extend the conversation and give him a change to feel confident while talking to you. He will be excited and will be more willing to engage when the topic piques his interest.
Communicating effectively with children with ASD can be a challenge. But the rewards and benefits are tremendous. Your child will reap the benefits of your efforts, as he is able to understand the world a bit better and to learn more effective communication skills.
The Aspergers Comprehensive Handbook