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Some tips to help non-verbal children

In parenting corner this week, we talk about when you have child with autism who is non-verbal. It is important to provide them with right therapies and activities so that their communication skills can be enhanced. Here are some tips on how to reach out to non-verbal children.

Earlier, children with disabilities who were non-verbal had very few options to enhance their verbal skills. But today, there are many new therapies and trained experts who can reach out to children who are non-verbal, most of them who come under autism spectrum disorder.

The needs and requirements of each child with autism is different. While providing therapies to the child, the therapist must clearly use right strategies depending on the child's needs. In fact, experts point out that children who are non-verbal can communicate without speaking a certain language. They can do daily life skills and other activities by adopting other methods of communication. Both children and adults who are non-verbal can lead and normal and independent life in the society.

Trupti Patil, who runs Aarambh Special School in Pune says that children who are non-verbal understand things well. So working on that is best to improve their communication.

Most of the children who are non-verbal might not be too expressive. But they understand things well. Since they have short attention span, it is best to communicate to them in small sentences which are short yet clear. Using flashcards and telling stories help them a lot to understand things better.-Trupti Patil, Founder, Aarambh Special School.

Here are a few tips to help non-verbal children

  • Help them follow interests- Each child will have different interests. As a parent or therapist, it is important to not impose what the child is not interested in. Introduce them to the world of games and other activities. The child must be deeply involved in the process so that they can get the best out of it. Keep your child engaged and interested.
  • Make maximum use of assistive devices- Technology hasadvanced and there are many assistive devices that helps children with disabilities in various ways. Consult an expert or therapist who can offer the best assistive devices to help your child according to their needs. These devices that foster development have proven to be of great use. For example, devices that use photographs or images to produce words will have a deep impact on the child. They can connect better and get an in-depth understanding too.
  • Social interaction is vital- It is extremely important that your child interacts and spends time with other children and his peers. When the child plays with others, it helps to enhance their skills and promote language development. You can initiate sessions where children interact with each other through games and activities, singing or dancing. While doing this, stay close to your child so that they can observe you well and understand things better.
  • Let your child talk- It is very important to give space to your child to try and talk. The child might want to talk but might not be able to do it fast. Be patient and listen to them. Give them enough opportunities to express themselves and also to try talking to them. For instance, you can ask a question to your child and give them time to respond. The child will not be stressed out and will also be able to do better.

"Parents must take utmost care to understand the physical, emotional and psychological needs of their child. Never ignore that. Since my daughter was good with words and understands them easier, I used to tell her a lot of things through stories as well. Pictures help too. Give them all the opportunities to communicate, says Sangeetha John, who has a daughter with autism.

ALSO READ: Some tips for new parents who have child with autism

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