If your child doesn’t say the word that you are helping them with, it’s not because they can’t talk, it’s not because they aren’t listening to you and it’s not because they don’t understand what you are saying. In fact, in the Son-Rise Program®, we often see that our children on the Autism spectrum simply need more time. They need time to process your request and then they need time to say the sound, word, or words that you are helping them with. Which is great news because this means that pausing alone can help your child in tremendous ways!

Be a detective today and observe how much time your child needs after your request!

Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Request from your child once they are smiling, giggling, or laughing during your interactions and games together. This means that they are motivated and showing a high level of interest in what you are doing. This also means that they are more likely to respond to your request.
  2. Pause after you ask your child to say a sound, a word, or to talk. Pausing means that you will be excited, but quiet as you give your child the time that they need.
  3. At the Autism Treatment Center of America, we have seen children who need up to a 20 second pause before responding to our request. So, as you are pausing, really believe that your child is trying, embrace the silence and trust your child’s process of learning!
  4. Celebrate and keep the game going even if your child doesn’t respond to your request after you pause. Your enthusiasm and delight in playing with them will inspire your child not to give up!
  5. Try, try, and try again! Persistence and belief are key when helping your child communicate. So, keep the fun and silly times coming and continue to offer them more opportunities to try!