From Kate Wilde:

Verbal communication is made up of two components someone talking (either verbally or non-verbally) and someone listening. I recently wrote a short blog about listening, this blog is about how we talk to our children. This week at The Son-Rise Program Intensive we have the cutest little cherub with autism. He is 9 years old, has black hair and loves to twiddle the seal from a prized carton of ice cream. He has a vocabulary of about 10 clear words,and a high pitched scream which he uses to convey the urgency of a want. He has yet to learn  that we don’t understand screaming here at The Son-Rise House.: – )  Even though he does not speak many words or have conversations, he has shown us that he can clearly understand everything we say.

Our children may find forming words and sentences challenging, but this does not mean that they cannot understand what we say.. Here at The Autism Treatment Center of America we see again and again that our children who have yet to speak can understand us.

What do you do with this information? Talk to your children. Talk to them as if you were speaking to a fully speaking person. Tell them what is happening, explain to them in detail where they are going, and why they are going there.
If your child has to take medication explain in detail how the medication will help them.
If you do not want your child to do something like dump out all of the shampoo into the bath tub, let them know why you do not want they to do this.

If your children are resisting making transitions from place to place, or refuse to take medication, it may just be because no one has told them what is going on. If we explain in detail not only will they know, but they will understand that everything we are doing is to take care of them and help them.

Take a moment think of a place where your child may be extra controlling and resistant and take the time to explain the situation in more detail. You may be surprised with their response.

Have fun talking to your children.
With much love Kate

3 Responses

  1. Hi Kate … I missed this post somehow, but I am glad that I found it. I have a question about this one and Im not sure what to do. Tyler is 16 and says about 10 words also. I totally believe Tyler understands alot of what we say. Where Im stumped is when i explain to her she has a doctors appointment and I start to tell her about it, she gets upset right away. She doesnt seem to like it when I try to explain things. Ive checked my attitude and actions when I say it and I dont know why she still gets upset. I actually quit explaining to her. Do you have any suggestion?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

    🙂 Jamie

  2. Hi Jamie,
    When you say she gets upset – what does she do that leads you to believe that. Does she act this way every time you explain anything to her or just when you let her know that you are taking her to the doctors?? If you could let me know these details I can better answer your question. I am so sorry that I did not see this earlier.
    With love to you

  3. Hi Kate … thats a good question about being upset and why do i believe that. i feel she gets upset, but i question if im right or wrong about that. She will immediately tense up her whole face, begin to ism, and sometimes scream. Tyler does this almost every time we try to explain something to her. It seems (a guess/assumption) as if she may feel like we're saying "no" in a round about way or that she's in trouble or something. I say this because we have always had to be careful with the word no. I cant be sure but I believe some of her reactions to the word "no" and explaining to her may stem from when shes at her dads and she is constantly being told "no" and she is always being controlled. a much different situation than when she is with me and in a "son-rise environment." She no longer stays at her dads house but he stays here with her and I hear him constantly telling her "no," taking things away from her that she likes, and controlling most of her moves. Ive been working on this with him. Do you think that could be part of what is going on? Or do you think that maybe Im making assumptions all the way around and that maybe its just too much for Tyler to take in? Tyler is not a child that takes leaps in her progress. She has always taken very little steps. So, what do you think? 🙂

    Your expert opinion is greatly appreciated!

    Love, Jamie

    P.S. you dont have to be sorry about seeing this earlier because i just wrote it yesterday and just wanted to let you know since you posted this awhile ago.

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