Communicating with Your Nonverbal Child by Dr. Linda Mintle

In the April 2012 issue, Dr. Linda Mintle wrote an article entitled "Play Time: Communicating with Your Autistic Child." Here are some other resources Dr. Mintle suggests to learn more about communication.


Jumpstarting Communication Skills in Children with Autism: A Parents’ Guide to Applied Verbal Behavior by Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D, BCBA-D and Valbona Demiri, Ph.D, BCBA-D (Woodbine House, 2011)

This book offers a mixture of technical information and creative strategies dealing with speech and language issues in children with autism, including many case examples that make it easier to apply the concepts presented.

Here’s a short excerpt showing how the book uses examples.

But there are … strategies you can use during the course of daily life to make it easier for your child to understand what you are saying and to help strengthen her listening skills. They include:

  • Make your directions or commands as simple and clear as possible. Use as few words as possible and do not string two or more instructions together. It may also be helpful not to use many pronouns at first. For example, say, “Follow Dad” instead of “Follow me.” 
  • Try to highlight the most important information you need your child to attend to in your words. For example, you might speak a single word louder than the rest: “Give mommy the PINK cup.” 
  • In your daily routine, try to incorporate the same kinds of prompts that are used in ABA teaching. For example, if you ask your child to pass her brother a napkin at the table, you might move the napkins close to her while moving other things on the table farther away. This is known as a positional prompt.

A Picture’s Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism  by Andy Bondy, Ph.D and Lori Frost, M.S., CCC-SLP (Woodbine House, 2011)

 This second edition offers introductory lessons to the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), making it easy for parents and therapists to get started with this low-tech strategy to help young children develop effective communication skills. 



How to Talk to an Autistic Kid by Daniel Stefanski (Free Spirit Publishing, 2011)

Daniel is 14, and he is autistic. His book explains that many kids with autism have a hard time with social situations, including communication. His personal voice offers classmates, siblings, teachers, and family members great insight into how to reach out to kids with autism. 


Do you know of any other great resources for communicating with a nonverbal child?  

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