1. Don’t over think it. Pick one or two words that you would like your child to use. Choose anything that your child is motivated by and will want to tell you when they want it. These words must be for items such as “apple” “ball” “train”.
2. Stick to nouns. Don’t teach your child to say “more”. You will find that if they learn to ask for “more”, you have no idea what they would like more of. Single words will reduce frustration and confusion.
3. The one or two items you have chosen – keep them out of reach if possible, so that your child doesn’t have immediate, “free” access. Whenever you can see that they want the item, say “ball” for example and when they have repeated it, give it straight to them. This can be done with all forms of communication including speech, sign, proloquo2Go, and PECS
4. ONLY TEACH IT WHEN YOUR CHILD WANTS THE ITEM. If they don’t want it, why would they ask for it?
5. Focus on single function words and avoid ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ (we know this is important, but it comes later)
As we said at the beginning, this is a common area that people ask for help in, so you are not alone.
This is one of the most important areas of development, and a real focus of our teaching when we are at the centre. By increasing communication skills, it increases the independence of the child. It can reduce frustration levels, and increase the number of communication partners available to them.
We hope you have found this useful. If you have any questions, please do ask. If you are interested in talking to us about supporting your child, then do get in touch (http://earlyactionforautism.co.uk/contact/)