“In The Son-Rise Program®, we never give up on communication with our children. We passionately and joyfully persist in finding ways to help our children on the Autism Spectrum communicate. One of the first communication skills we work on with our sweet children is helping them verbally communicate what they want or don’t want, using clear single words. We will invite any child of any age, who has not yet developed verbal language to speak when they are very motivated and connected to us (that is, when your child is in a Green Light).
“Key reminders to support your child to create clear words:
• BELIEVE your child is using language and not just babbling. When your child makes a sound, at the times they are showing you they want something (during a Green Light), like more tickles, bubbles, squeezes, food, etc. This is a clear attempt at language. Allow yourself to believe in this. The more you believe, the more you will hear, and the more you will respond. Responding to your child’s sounds will help THOSE NEURONS LIGHT UP LIKE A PARTY in the language center of the brain.
• CELEBRATE and RESPOND to those beautiful sounds. If your child is showing you they want more rides, tickles, squeezes, bubbles, snacks, etc. and you hear your child make a sound then celebrate and respond by giving your child more of what they want. For example, if your child says “baba” while your child is getting tickles then you can say, “Wow that was amazing talking for a tickle. Here come get more tickles!”
• Use The Son-Rise Program ‘NAME IT’ TECHNIQUE in the game. Help your child turn that sound in to a clear word by joyfully labeling the game you are in. This is so much fun and so simple. Once you know what your child wants more of, label the game with a noun or verb that best describes that game. If your child is popping bubbles then call the game ‘bubbles’, say ‘This word is bubbles. I know you can say it.’ Then blow the bubbles in a fun way. Continue to highlight the name of the game as long as your child wants to play it.
• GIVE your child a lot of what they are seeking from you whenever they make attempts to speak. If you are giving your child silly rides and you ask for them to say the word ‘ride’ and they say ‘ide.’ Give lots of rides around the room and when you think you have given a lot… give more… and when you think you have given twice as much… you got it… give more rides. You never again need to withhold from your child to ‘make’ them speak. We find the more we give to our children, the more motivated they become and the easier it is for them to play with us for a longer period of time. The more connected our children are, the easier it will be for them to respond to our challenges.
“Have fun championing your child’s word skills!”
Written by Suzanne Pruss, Son-Rise Program Teacher