Imagine that your child is already trying to talk. Now, entertain the idea that your son, or daughter may already be saying words, or parts of words. Open your heart up to the belief that your child is trying to verbally communicate every single day. Because, when we believe that our children are trying to talk, we listen to them differently. We are more curious, we are more excited, and we hear more!
Here are a few reasons why, in The Son-Rise Program®, we stop talking and listen very carefully when helping our children say words!
- Your child may whisper the word that you are helping them say. Last week we helped a family and their 12-year-old son here at the Autism Treatment Center of America. He frequently made strings of rhythmic sounds, but his parents wanted to help him say more words. Our team of Child Facilitators observed that he was often saying words in a very soft whisper. In fact, he spoke so softly that if you didn’t really listen, you could easily miss the word. After practicing this important skill of listening more carefully, his parents heard him say so many new things! His mom even heard her son say, “Mum,” in a very soft whisper, for the very first time!
- Your child may need to make a long string of sounds before being able to say the word that you are helping them with. Some parents believe that their children are only capable of making “random,” strings of sounds. However, we believe that our children are always purposeful. In fact, we have heard countless children say a word at the end of those strings of sounds. We have also heard children say a clear word right in the middle of those sounds!
- Your child may need to be quiet for a few seconds after you ask them to say a word. Some children need time to process what we just asked them to do before trying. Which is why you want to stay quiet, but remain excited as you give your child the time and space that they may need in order to say the word!
- Your child may say a word while in physical movement. You may be tempted to begin talking if your child walks, or runs away from you. You may believe that they gave up, or that they don’t want to try the word that you are helping them with. However, we have heard many children come out with words and parts of words while in movement. We’ve heard children say words while running from one wall to the other, while rolling themselves on a therapy ball, or while jumping around the room! You get the idea! Once again, listen carefully if your child starts moving and running after you ask them to say a word. They may be getting ready to talk!