Many children have special communication needs.
Tips for communicating with children who have special needs:
- Use simple language with fewer, clearer words in a slower pace. For example, rather than saying “John, put your toys away. It’s time to go to bed,” patiently say, “John, toys.” Point at the closet used for toys to help to clarify.
- Use symbols or pictures when talking to your child.
- Repeat instructions clearly.
- When trying to get the attention of your child, say her name first.
- Establish a routine for daily activities like eating and toileting.
- To establish eating habits, use a personal spoon or table mat to provide a clue to the child that it is time to eat.
- Observe your child’s behaviors, including “meltdowns.” Look for the triggers of those behaviors to prevent them from happening again. While there is a difference between a meltdown and a tantrum, some of the tips for preventing a tantrum may help.
- Your child might have difficulties choosing activities or toys. Offer her a “picture map” of different activities or toys to select from.
- If you are having a hard time involving your child in activities or getting him to try new toys, consider these activities from the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA).