Autism Communication – Exaggerated Emphasis

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,917
    Some children who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, are not listening at key times. Autism consultant Steven Wertz talks about how to say key words so they are heard. With exaggerated emphasis, your child will hear you, and also see how you talk and be more likely to imitate speech movements.

    Steven Wertz: Hi! I am Steven Wertz with The Growing Minds Autism Program. When you're helping your child with autism really learn to communicate, it is absolutely important that your child hears the keywords that they need to learn. Now some children have some hearing problems, hypersensitivities and sometimes they are not listening, and they are not hearing key language, and then they will not say back to you because they have not heard it. So I want to help you, present words in such a way that they will be guaranteed to be heard.

    Now sometimes as we talk with the child we will have no emphasis of a keyword, so for example I might say what do you think honey, would you like to play with your Buzz Lightyear to your next or would you rather watch T.


    ? Now when I say the sentence like that no word stands out. Nothing is emphasized and your child maybe tuning everything out, but let us say that their favorite toy, one of their favorite toys is Buzz Lightyear and then you ask, what do you think honey? Would you like buzz, would that be fun?

    Now when you put the silence in front and the silence at the end, and give it a slightly different level and exaggerate and emphasize the word that word is going to stand out; it is more likely to be heard. Then you can play with this and have a little fun with this; you can pick keywords, cookie. If you've been talking a little bit louder and you have just called out to your husband and said, hey honey, it is time to take these something out of the oven, then turn to your child and say-- The contrast is so interesting and compelling little silence in front, little silence afterward. You can also over articulate what your child see into your mouth, to see how you say a word, buzz. Your child is more likely to put two lips together, to repeat back the word buzz, if buzz is a favorite toy.

    If you will accentuate; if you will exaggerate and emphasize too many words there will not be any words emphasized; what do you think honey would you like water or would you like cookie, how about buck after you have emphasized five words in a row, none of them are emphasized. Pick one and put it across.

    Don't use words like more and again. They are really not helpful and if you teach your child to use those words they will not practice saying the keywords for key experiences, but get in there, have fun and emphasize keywords.