Autism Communication – Identify Key Words

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,115
    Autism consultant Steven Wertz explains how important it is to identify key items and experiences that your child wants. It is critical that you assign key words for your child’s favorite items and experiences. Your child with autism is likely to learn and try to say one or more of these key words.

    Steven Wertz: Hi, I am Steven Wertz with The Growing Minds Autism Program. I want to talk to you about something you can do to get your nonverbal child with autism talking.

    Identify key experiences and make keywords for those experiences. First of all you want to think, if there was a most wanted list what does my child want for the most in all the world, what do they want repeated again and again.

    Then if you want to make keywords for that, think in different categories. First, food and drink, is there something that your child wants again and again? It could be drink and then you want to assign a very special word like drink.

    Play with an adult, there are kids who really, really enjoy certain kinds of pressure, certain kinds of massage, some children like to have a certain kind of squeeze. Whatever it is that your child likes and wants repeated, it could be tickle, it could be squeeze and make a special word for it, squeeze as an example.

    A favorite toy, your child might have a toy that they want to play with again and again. Buzz for Buzz Lightyear; make a keyword for that favorite item. Some children really love to have some control of an adult. They might want you to stop or to go or to run away or to fall down and they love seeing how an adult will do what they want them to do.

    You want if your child loves to see you fall down, have a keyword down. Even if you just do this identify most wanted experiences and items and make keywords for those items. Your child is going to be more likely to pick up on those keywords and say them.