Language – Part 1: Conversation Skills
FROM BECKY: Hey There Lovely People! Since working here at The Autism Treatment Center of America, I have had hundreds of conversations with different children and adults on the Autism Spectrum using The Son-Rise Program.
My next series of blogs are going to be about working on language with your verbal children to develop more spontaneous speech, inspire more of a desire to use language in a communicative way and working on conversational skills.
1) Pause, Pause, Pause! Make sure to leave plenty of space to give your child a chance to respond to what you are saying. In a world of cell-phones, digital cameras and satellite TV, we are used to expecting things to happen instantly and in this case our children need plenty of time to process.
Instead of waiting one second and then assuming your child isn’t going to respond, try waiting 30 seconds and see what happens, you may be pleasantly surprised. When we pause, we leave a window of opportunity for our child to be spontaneous or honor our request. It is hugely respectful and shows that we believe in our child.
If it doesn’t happen the first time, then try again later. The more space you leave, the more chance you have of your child talking to you.
Think about a time you have shared with a friend or loved one recently, over dinner or a cup of tea. There are natural pauses in the flow of the conversation, you don’t always need to be filling every gap.
More coming soon……………………