Steven Wertz: Hi, I am Steven Wertz with The Growing Minds Autism Program. It can be very challenging to get your child with autism to communicate with you. Children are affected in a variety of different ways when they have autism and there is various degrees of severity. About 40% of the children who are diagnosed with autism don't speak. We'd like to see that number be a lot lower. As a parent there are some very simple things that you can do to inspire and encourage and get your child talking.
The first one is identify items that are most wanted. What does your child want, this a cookie, to be spun around to have a favorite toy. Identify what they want, then get a keyword.
Buzz for Buzz Lightyear; cookie for cookie, drink for drink. Control access is number two. Control access to your child's favorite items. If your child can just go and get those things for him or herself there is no reason to communicate with you. Put them up, put them in a cabinet. Your child comes to you and asks, wants you to provide drink.
Emphasize the keyword is number three. Now often children are looking and not listening, you want to help your child hear the keyword associated with their favorite items.
So if you're just talking then your child is not going to hear the keyword but if you stop, drink.
Female Speaker: Drink.
Steven Wertz: And then go one, your child will hear that emphasized word. Number four, you need also then to connect that keyword with the primary most wanted experience. So you want to put the drink together with the word drink. You have to connect those.
If your child loves Buzz Lightyear put buzz together with Buzz Lightyear and last and very important, after you've connected the keyword to the item put in a delay. Buzz! And just put in a pause and this inspires and encourages and motivates a child to fill the delay by saying the word themselves.
If you learn these key points as a parent this is the central relationship in your child's life, if you do these simple things daily it can really inspires and encourage and invite your child with autism to speak.