My son is now six years old and is really moving mountains by increasing his speech. He has been nonverbal for most of his life. He still is considered nonverbal just because he can’t form sentences and communicate efficiently. However, he is at the stage in life right now where he is talking and repeating words more than ever before.
Here are some things that we have done to increase that talking:
- iPad with music and songs: he loves to listen and repeat what they are saying!
- If he wanted something say it and reward: I would ask him to say something and offer a reward (a cookie usually) if he said it.
- Help break down the words: We worked on making the noises rather than words.
- Form small sentences whenever he wants something rewarding: I ask him what do you want? Do you want cookie? He says yes, I say okay say “I want to eat cookie.”
- Allow time: This one is hard, we can’t push him. We have to allow it to happen on its own!
- Don’t cause frustration: Frustration leads to being mad and tantrums. He wants to talk, and he is trying his hardest.
- Always praise: Even if it is NOT exactly pronounced correctly, I make sure to praise him as best as I can.
- Video record so he watches it: He LOVES to watch videos of himself saying words and then trying to say it back to me.
- Communicate talk at times so they can take it all in: I try to ask engaging questions to him, as well as communicate with him. I tell him what I am doing so he can take it in and understand more.
- Ask him to say .. (whatever word you want him to say): This is great! He really does this and tries so hard to repeat it back!
All of these items have helped grow a little bit more and more each day. Whenever I really give him great praise and get super excited, he loves it even more and laughs. This is one of my favorite things. I get so excited every single time he makes a new noise and tries to communicate verbally. He also loves watching the videos I record and repeats the words back that he says in there! It;’s so cute and a win-win.
I once was told that he might not ever talk; I’ve been praying hard for YEARS for this to not be true. Patience is a must and I have learned that just by having an autistic son. It is important to not ever give up on any child no matter what they are going through. There are plenty of resources and tools to help your child out. I had Antonio in many therapy sessions to help and would work with him at home.
We are not able to fully form sentences yet, but also it can be tough to understand him sometimes. However, I can usually pinpoint and understand more than others what he’s trying to say; it’s a work in progress.
Susie Liberatore is the owner, and Art Director, of Visions2images Creative Services. She helps established businesses grow their brand awareness by using digital marketing and professional branding techniques. With over a decade of agency and corporate experience, she brings businesses’ visions to life, while watching their return on investment increase.
Susie helps businesses grow their brand presence and connect with their target audience.