One of the most obvious characteristics of a child with autism is the lack of communication skills. In my many years of teaching, I have encountered a lot of children with this condition. The first special ed center that gave me a break and this center that I go to now are both specializing in speech and language communication disorders so I have a lot of experiences with these communication disorders in children. Most of the godmothers of my children are speech-language pathologists. The following are some of the observations I have regarding the communication skills, the presence and lack thereof:
- Some are able to communicate well although they still need to learn the nonverbal and higher language skills necessary to communicate properly.
- Some, sad to say, are not able to communicate at all, with just grunts, cries, gestures and tantrums to accompany what they want to say. Why do they have tantrums? Are they just behaving badly? No, they just don’t know how to communicate.
- There are those who have verbal skills but they do not know how to use them properly. We use to have one student coming for speech therapy who says “Happy birthday to you!” whenever she feels frustrated or doesn’t want to participate in the therapy.
- There are those who seems to have a very good verbal repertoire, using highfalutin words, but can’t seem to use them properly in communicating their needs. What good would it would be even if you know all kinds of things about boats since you cannot always talk about these things?
- There are those who will just parrot what the other person is saying. TJulie: “Hello, ______! Good morning!” Kid: “Hello (says his name)! Good morning!”
- There are also those, I mean, there are a lot of them using a monotonous voice. Even their facial expressions do not vary. So we have to teach them the different voice inflections and appropriate facial expressions to match what they are saying.
Hope I was able to give my viewpoint properly. This is not just for those who have children with autism but for those who know other children with the condition.
This entry was posted on Friday, June 8th, 2007 at 12:25 am and is filed under Autism, Language Development, special education, Teaching Techniques. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.