Posted by teacherjulie @ 12:25 am

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.

8 Jun, 2007 @ 2:32 am
Desert Diva said:

A few months ago I had the good fortune to go to a conference and hear Temple Grandin, Ph.D. give the keynote address.

I posted a photo for Photo Hunters for the theme “Lost.”

It’s amazing the prevalence of the disorder in today’s society…

8 Jun, 2007 @ 10:17 pm
auee said:

Teacher Julie, in Nueva Ecija we used to have a neighbour whose then 1-year old was always very quiet. Sabi ng lola sa amin napakabait na bata daw. When the child was 3 or 4 Nanay suggested to them to have the child checked because he’s still unsually “reserved”. Ayun autistic nga.

  • Two of the signs that there is a problem: when a child is very quiet and when a child is hyperactive. Actually there more more signs, including not talking early or having articulation problems not due to hearing impairment or oral-physiological problems. The list of signs is quite long, if I may say so. For parents, it is okay to be paranoid, it helps to be alert to these signs. 🙁

9 Jun, 2007 @ 5:02 pm
betty said:

Has there been a study on what causes autism. In Singapore I noticed that a lot of Indian kids are autistic. These kids usually come from parents who are both working at high profile jobs.

  • There are a lot of studies but no exact cause yet, as far as I know. If you are interested, you can read my other post, “What Kind of World Do You Want?”. There are links there that can give some info about autism. As to children with parents working high profile jobs, these can be true probably because they have the money and resources to have their children get the necessary medical diagnoses as well as therapy services needed. Same goes for the rich families here in the country. Unlike in the US, special ed is free, as long as you qualify the criteria set by your state. Hope I helped a little in answering your question.

27 Feb, 2008 @ 8:49 am

[…] Why is it important to teach the nonverbal child “Approach-Request” skills? Nonverbal children especially those diagnosed with autism, would often resort to pulling an adult’s hand to get the object that the child needs. […]

[…] Their lack of communication skills in this post: Autism and Communication […]

[…] is a blessing because with all the communication, social skills and behavioral issues (here is an example) that they have to go through, they learn […]

Leave a Reply