How To Communicate With Autistic Kids

Now that Antonio is talking more I feel like we are making great progress. However, we are still facing issues as that is bound to happen.  I make sure to take note of the things we struggle with so that way I can keep working on them with him. 

  1. Not clear: Sometimes things are not clear what he says when I am not talking to him directly. He likes to repeat things from his iPad so sometimes I can figure it out, but other times I can not. I ask him to repeat himself, he will do that a few times, but then will get frustrated. It is important that I keep asking him to repeat it so we can work through it together. 
  2. Very soft: He will talk very soft, or very loud, there isn’t an in between. If I ask him to speak louder it will basically be a scream and super loud. We are working on understanding the difference noise levels so that he can talk more regular with others. He will imitate and repeat the different noises and vocals I make, so I make sure that I do it at the right noise level. 
  3. Can’t complete sentences: I always make sure to let him communicate his needs and wants. I make him communicate into a sentence form so he can really start to communicate more efficiently. 

I know so many parents that have gone through the same issues as myself. There is no right answer to improve communication with a nonverbal child all it takes is determination and patience. I enjoy being able to help and guide others since I have had to take my own action steps. If you are looking for support, feel free to reach out; I always love sharing our journey and techniques. 

Meet Susie Liberatore

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money are. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Communication With An Autistic Child

I asked Antonio as he was putting on his socks do you want to wear shorts or pants. He replied “No socks.” 

It got me thinking. He can’t think ahead or understand when he is focused on one thing, the socks. He already had pants on, but it was warm out so I wanted to see if he wanted to put shorts on. However, when I asked this, he was confused. 

It is interesting to see how his mind works, so I can better understand how to communicate with him. This isn’t the first time he has done this. 

One time at school, they went to the library and the teacher told him to take books out of the library to bring home. He replied, “books stay at the library.” Again, this is another time when he was literal about things, and it was quite funny. It is so interesting to see how things can work differently for each person. 

My son has helped me to be a better person and communicator, and also learn more about patience. Being a special needs mom has some great perks to it! 

Sometimes it makes me laugh a little, at how literal they can be. It is truly a blessing and interesting to see how his mind works. 

Meet Susie Liberatore

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money are. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Baseball Must Have’s

I am excited for Antonio to start baseball again this year. Last year it was a little different because he was with a special needs program. It was incredible, but he is ready for the next phase.

This year will still be special needs baseball, but will have much more competition and growth to it. It can be hard sometimes for autistic children to understand how to play and compete with others. I am looking forward to guiding him this year.

adidas Captain Tee Ball Batting Helmet

Meet Susie Liberatore

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money are. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

A numberblock 7th Birthday Party

I am excited about another birthday party this year for Antonio. This year he is really into Number Blocks; he of course totally loves his Mickey. We have had a ton of Mickey parties over the years, so we wanted to do something different.

Plus, he is really into math, numbers, learning, and drawing. It is so interesting to see him develop each and every year. 

He picked out this theme and I am looking forward to it! Here are some great party supplies and gift items. 

Meet Susie Liberatore

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money are. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Kindergarten Thoughts From An Autistic Mom

My son started a whole new school this year, in kindergarten! It has been quite interesting. I have all the emotions and thoughts. I am totally happy that he loves it and enjoys it. 

He goes to a private school here in Akron Ohio, that focuses on his IEP and growth.  I never thought that he was ready for this day, simply because he was so behind. I also was not ready because my baby is all grown up; time flies by! 

However, he has been getting therapy for years now that it all caught up and he was really ready. I am so thankful and blessed for where he is developmentally, socially, and physically. It has been a long journey.

Here are some tips for an effective school year with an autistic child: 

  • I am so impressed with him, the school, and the teachers. It is important to keep communication between all of us. We get daily behavior reports, school updates, and updates at pick-up. I love that there is also an app where they can add images, and we can send personal messages too. I like that I can ask Antonio questions such as do you have homework? He knows and responds; it feels like we finally are having conversations! I love it, it makes me so proud of how far he has come.
  • I work with Antonio at home but make it fun. Regardless of whether he has homework or not, we work together on something. He watches his iPad and learns a lot from it, so when they say a certain word, I ask him to spell it or say it. A lot of times, I will be silly to help him have fun and learn. It is so cute how he reacts and really loves to learn. 
  • Make sure to allow time to play. Children need time to unwind. Whatever they like to do after school, allow them to do it and have fun. It is the same thing that we as adults do after work or when the kids go to bed; we all need personal time. 
  • Do homework right after dinner. I have found that Antonio is most productive at this time. After dinner time, we allow playtime and then relaxation, bath time, and pj’s. He gets tired and doesn’t do well after around 6 P.M. Find the time that fits your child’s needs.  
  • Allow packing lunch. I always pack his lunch, or at least most of it, the day before. The morning of I adds the sandwich. 
  • Encourage independence by having the child get dressed in mornings, etc. I always encourage Antonio to ask for help if something is too hard or he is too tired. For the most part he is incredibly independent and will try to do all things  himself and then ask for help when appropriate. 
  • Prep them for the day (if there is a test, or hard day coming up). I always like to talk with my son about what is coming up for the day or week, especially if it might be something that is hard. I usually know a head of time, so I can be effective with that. 
  • Allow prizes. This is one of the biggest things that I do, and we both love. Nothing is better than a cookie!! He loves cookies so I can always encourage him to do well for a cookie, or a favorite toy. 
  • Have a set scheduled. This is truly one of the biggest things that we both need. I need a set schedule and he does too; when it is off for either one of us, it is not a good mix or feeling. 
  • Ask an encourage how the day went. This one is our current work in progress. I like to ask how his day went, but usually it is just a yes or no question. “Did you have a good day?” I am trying to get more out of it now by asking what he did and try to get more communication. 

I am so proud of all the accomplishment he has made in just a short amount time. It is truly amazing that I have been able to get him into the right programs over the years to help him blossom and grow. 

As an Art Director with over 10 years of experience in the agency and corporate world, I saw global and local clients missing out on so many opportunities to get leads because of inconsistent branding. My goal is to help them generate new clients with my strategic processes. I help businesses NOT waste time or money and provide the highest quality design and service. As a single mom to an autistic child, I know how valuable time and money is. 

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Six Year Old Christmas List

I know it is super EARLY to think about Christmas, but I like to get started on my shopping and so many others in my family. I usually put together a list for Antonio. He personally picks them out and lets me know what he wants from Santa. 

I thought this was a great list so I am sharing it with you in case you need some gift ideas, too. Antonio is six years old and enjoys a variety of toys as you can see. Enjoy and Happy Shopping!

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.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

The Best Sensory and Toys For Autism Kids

I never heard of the word ‘sensory’ until Antonio was diagnosed with autism. It is hard to define what it really is because it can be different for different people. Sometimes they are over-sensory and sometimes under censored. There are plenty of ways to show off sensory; stimming, chewing on something, fist hitting, head hitting, etc. There can many that might seem normal or not normal. Think about when you are overwhelmed, or stressed, we all have weird habits to react to this feeling; so do autistic children. 

Read more about sensory here.

However, the one thing is that once a child starts to get older we can’t always allow their regular sensory items to take place (aka; stimming or head hitting, etc). So it always helps to allow them to have sensory items such as the list below. 

Drawing Stencils Set for Kids (54-Piece) – Arts and Crafts for Girls & Boys with Over 300 Shapes

Plugo Letters by PlayShifu – Word Building with Phonics, Stories, Puzzles

Crayola Ultimate Light Board Blue, Drawing Tablet

163 Pieces Creative Construction Stem Learning Engineering Set

Dolanus Transformers Toys – Remote Control Car Contains All Batteries

ThinkFun Gravity Maze Marble Run Brain Game and STEM Toy

Sensory Ring and Fidget Toy 3 Pack | Soft, Flexible Ring and Rubber Spikes

Sensory Stress Ball Set, 12 Pack Stress Relief Fidget Balls for Kids

Fidget Toys and Textured Sensory Toys by BUNMO 

Pull, Stretch and Squeeze Stress Balls by YoYa Toys – 3 Pack – Elastic Construction Sensory

24 Pack Bundle Sensory Fidget Toys Set-Liquid Motion Timer

ENTHUR Fidget Toys for Adults and Kids – Bubble Sensory Fidget Toy Fidget

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.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

How I Got My Nonverbal Son Talking

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: 

  1. iPad with music and songs: he loves to listen and repeat what they are saying!
  2. 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. 
  3. Help break down the words: We worked on making the noises rather than words. 
  4. 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.”  
  5. Allow time: This one is hard, we can’t push him. We have to allow it to happen on its own! 
  6. Don’t cause frustration: Frustration leads to being mad and tantrums. He wants to talk, and he is trying his hardest. 
  7. Always praise: Even if it is NOT exactly pronounced correctly, I make sure to praise him as best as I can.  
  8. Video record so he watches it: He LOVES to watch videos of himself saying words and then trying to say it back to me. 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Happy Sixth Birthday Antonio

I literally can not believe my son is turning six today. I remember when he was born like it was yesterday. 

It seems like time flew by… everyone warned me, it would go by fast. I believed them, but not this fast. 

You are no longer my baby… or my baby boy… you’re now my little man. 

We have such an incredible bond and journey. 

This year feels so special to me. I am so proud of you and how far you have come. 

You are independent, stubborn, and have a personality…. Quite the personality I should add.  

You are developing into a young boy and are so talented. I can’t wait to see where life takes you! 

I am glad that God blessed me with you. Happy Birthday Tony D; you’re the best thing that ever happened to me and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings you. 

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.

The Ultimate Branding Guide to Win New Clients in 7 Days

Questions to ask at IEP meetings

As a mother to a special needs son, I know how hard an iep meeting can be. It can be frustrating and stressful day in and day out, year after year.  

Here’s some questions to ask each year (or whenever renewal is up for an IEP evaluation). 

  • What are your goals?
  • What is the child’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • How many kids have an IEP in the class?
  • How do you deal with non-verbal kids? 
  • Could you tell me about my child’s day so I can understand what it looks like?
  • Can we make a plan for updates about how everything is going? Will there be parent meetings? 
  • What support will the classroom teacher have in putting his IEP into place?
  • What training does the staff have in this specific intervention?
  • What does that accommodation/ instructional intervention look like in the classroom?
  • How will we measure progress? How will we communicate about this with my child?
  • What are the days and times for school? 
  • What is the student-to-teacher ratio?
  • Will he get any 1:1 support? 
  • Do they support additional support for speech and physical therapy? If so how much does he get and how many times a week??
  • Are there any Music and exercise activities?
  • What is the class size  or learning groups?

I get how hard it can be, but don’t ever give up on your child. You are the best advocate and need to fight for what is best; you know your child best. I know that these questions have helped me each year, and I hope they can help you as well. 

Susie Liberatore is a single mother to a special needs child and has successful businesses. She loves evolving and growth with others. 

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. 

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