Is Your Child Autistic? Learn More About Autism and Communication Here!

When a child is autistic everything is just more challenging because they view the world a different way. This includes communication. In order to help you out with this we found an article on autism and communication. We hope it helps!

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From the article:

“If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism”
Dr. Stephen Shore

The quote above highlights the fact that people with autism are individuals, and that there is a lot of variation in their interests and abilities. You can’t assume that one person’s experience will be the same as another’s, when it comes to autism.

By pinpointing these key skills, therapy can focus on these areas to give children the best possible “kick start” to their communication development.

This variability is also true when it comes to communication. It hasn’t always been easy to predict which children will become better communicators and which experiences and skills will lead to better outcomes. But recently, researchers have been trying to figure out which skills in early childhood are connected to better communication abilities later on. By pinpointing these key skills, therapy can focus on these areas to give children the best possible “kick start” to their communication development.

Key Skills That Predict Better Communication Outcomes:
Joint Attention, Imitation and Toy Play

Research has shown that children who have better abilities with these three skills in early childhood have better communication skills as older children [1,2]:

Joint attention
Joint attention involves sharing a common focus with someone by looking at and sending messages about the same object or event. For example, in the picture, the little boy and his father are sharing a common focus on the bird in the distance. Children need to learn to:
respond to joint attention, which means noticing something that someone is drawing their attention to (like the boy in the picture) and;
initiate joint attention, which means drawing someone else’s attention to something of interest.

Imitation is the ability to copy other people’s sounds, facial movements, body movements, and actions with objects.

Toy play
There are two types of toy play that are connected to communication development ─ “functional toy play” and “pretend play”:
Functional play involves using toys in expected ways, such as putting a marble onto a ramp so it runs down to the bottom, pushing a car, or putting a puzzle piece in a puzzle.
Pretend play involves imagining with toys, such as pretending to feed a doll, putting gas in a toy car, or cooking with toy food in a toy kitchen.

Looking to find out if your autistic child would benefit from speech therapy? Checkout this article about speech therapy and autism that could be of interest to you.

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