Lack of verbal and social communication skills is one of the hallmark signs of autism. Many children with autism are unable to speak, and some have communication issues. The difficulty of speech varies for each autistic child because they are all unique. Assessing their needs and learning teaching methods for autistic children is therefore crucial.
Others are still waiting for their 6-year-old child to utter his first words while some parents are perplexed as to why their two-year-old has yet to speak. There is no set age for learning, but it’s common for parents to be concerned about their child’s speech development. The majority of autistic children begin learning when they are 6 years old and older, according to reports. There are, however, strategies for assisting and teaching autistic kids to talk. This article will go over some tips for autism communication that will help nonverbal kids and teenagers with autism develop their language skills.
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Causes Of Autism
Researchers are still looking for the precise cause of autism. Research, however, points to the fact that the disorder may have multiple causes.
It appears that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of autism. These elements have been found to influence and raise the likelihood that a child will develop an autism spectrum disorder. An individual’s increased risk does not guarantee that they will develop the disorder. Some people who exhibit risk factors for autism do not actually have the condition.
Studies suggest that the disorder:
- Could be inherited
- Could result from abnormal levels of chemicals in the brain
- Could be caused by infection or the effects of an environmental toxin
Genetic risk factors have been identified as influencing the risk of some forms of autism. The likelihood of someone developing ASD increases if they have a sibling or parent who has the condition. Additionally, autism spectrum disorder has been linked to a few medical conditions. Among these conditions are genetic disorders like the fragile X syndrome.
Environmental risk factors: Some professionals speculate that exposure to heavy metals and toxins in the environment may increase the risk of developing ASD. Additionally, according to the CDC, children with older parents are more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The onset of autism has also been linked to the use of some prescription medications, including thalidomide and valproic acid.
As can be seen, a child’s susceptibility to autism may depend on both genetics and the environment. Vaccines DON’T cause autism.
Why Is My Autism-Suffering Child Unable To Speak?
There could be a few causes for a child with autism not to speak. Finding out whether or not the person speaks clearly or with interference is the main identifying feature for nonverbal autism.
Although some people with autism may find it difficult to converse back and forth, these are not nonverbal autistics. Nonverbal people don’t communicate verbally at all.
Examining the potential causes will help us understand what might be going on. As the disorder’s symptoms worsen over time, autistic children might eventually lose their ability to speak.
The person might also have apraxia. A result of this may be that they are unable to express themselves. Echolalia, or repeating words and phrases, is another condition that may affect autistic people. Clear communication might be hampered by this. Nonverbal autism also has social, behavioral, and developmental symptoms.
Social symptoms: A hallmark symptom of autism spectrum disorder is difficulty interacting with others. People typically avoid making eye contact. They don’t answer when their names are called. These could make the person feel excluded and alone, which might cause depression.
Developmental symptoms: Each person is different. Each autistic person develops at a different rate. Even though a child can develop at a typical rate, their progress may be hindered after the age of 2 or 3. Speech might also fit into this category.
People with autism strictly adhere to routines, which is one of their behavioral symptoms. These schedules or routines could become disturbed by interruptions. Some people have incredibly focused passions for particular things and obsessions with related subjects. They might have a short attention span, which makes it difficult for them to maintain their attention on one thing at a time. This could make communication difficult. For each individual, behavioral symptoms do vary.
Not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and as people age, symptoms may become less bothersome and severe.
Children with autism who are currently nonverbal may eventually acquire language through speech therapy and other speech interventions with the proper and ongoing support.
Two-year-old nonverbal autistic children may not respond when their name is called; three-year-old nonverbal autistic children may not engage in pretend play; four-year-old nonverbal autistic children may repeat meaningless words and phrases, and five-year-old nonverbal autistic children may have difficulty understanding gestures in a communication setting.
Ten Tips To Teach An Autistic Child To Talk
Increase Social Interaction
As children learn and adapt to their environments, the most important thing to do is to not let them feel like they can’t do things like other children. Increase his social interaction by taking him to parks, as the more he observes others conversing, the more he will be tempted to do the same.
Make Eye Contact
The fact that your child never looks anyone in the eye when they are speaking to him may annoy you. Because it terrifies him, he tends to avoid it. Start by sticking amusing stickers on your forehead so that your child can look at them as you work on encouraging him to make eye contact. This will both remind him to look at people’s faces and assist him in becoming accustomed to making eye contact.
Utilize Non-verbal Communication
Laying the groundwork for verbal communication is nonverbal communication. His learning will be improved and accelerated if you imitate all of his actions and gestures, nod your head in agreement when you agree, and do other similar actions. Your child will be able to understand and adopt better communication techniques for the future more readily the simpler the gestures and nonverbal communication.
Use Simple Language
Your child’s ability to comprehend words will improve with easier language. It would be simpler for him to use short, simple words instead of complex ones. This will help your child pick up the language quickly and communicate back to you using words.
Attach Labels To Things And Feelings
Give your child the names of things and emotions. The best way to teach him is to be subtle. For instance, if he is heading for the refrigerator, tell him that he is doing it because he is hungry or thirsty. His ability to name things around him and relate names to various emotions will be made possible by this.
Take His Interest Into Consideration
You’ll notice him paying attention and listening to you when you focus on the things he enjoys and finds interesting. You can start by allowing your child to play with his favorite toy every day. Once your child has grown accustomed to playing with the toy, all you have to do is keep it out of his reach and at a distance from him. Give your child the toy when he makes a gesture of wanting it in the beginning, but as the days go on, act as if you don’t understand what he’s saying. In order to get what he wants, he will be persuaded to speak.
Join A Parent Special Education Group
A parent or school education group would be beneficial, but there are also many ways on Google to teach your toddler with autism to communicate. You’ll have the opportunity to speak with other parents who are dealing with the same problem and may learn more effective techniques for raising an autistic child here.
Use Technological Aids
In addition to making it simpler for you to teach your autistic child to speak, new technologies and visual aids also make it simpler for him to comprehend more clearly and in a playful way. A number of games and apps have been created specifically for autistic kids that make learning enjoyable and simple.
Give Him Space
Self-learning is the most effective method of learning. Giving your child some personal space will allow him to properly assess and comprehend the situation, which is crucial. You might have trouble carving out a lot of time, but let your kid learn at his own pace. Have faith in him and exercise patience instead of pressuring him to act in a certain way.
Have Faith In Him
The best thing you can do for your autistic child is to support him unconditionally and let him know that you’re there for him at all times. Avoid putting yourself under pressure because doing so might make him feel the same. For learning and growth, maintain a positive and healthy home environment. Do not let anything bad affect your child. It is not difficult to teach autistic children to talk; all that is needed is some patience.
Your child’s therapists can help you decide which approaches to use to support your autistic child’s language development. Talk with your kids about their small successes and challenges. They can therefore lead you in a well-informed manner. We can support autistic children by working together.