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Autism and Communication

One of the main difficulties that Flora, and all children with ASC, is having is in communicating and, consequently, in interacting with others. For this reason, many of the activities we are planning include teaching and/or reinforcing communication and interaction. In each activity, the student has the opportunity to build their vocabulary and also to practice the ability to communicate in order to achieve a goal, for example, to ask for something.


This week Flora is learning to use communication in order to request the ingredients and the utensils to make her own hot chocolate.


1. Showing and naming the symbols and objects

Before starting any activity it is important to show the objects we will need and name them while pointing to the matching symbol.

In this way, the student learns and maintains the new vocabulary.


2. Demonstrating the steps

As we have said in previous posts, it is important that the adult acts as a role model by demonstrating the task. This way the student understands, learns and anticipates what to do.

In this particular case the adult also acts as a guide. In other words, they give the student the instructions and then guide the student to look at the symbols and help them to use them correctly.

Our aim is for the student to use the symbols to initiate communication and gradually to build sentences with the 'subject (person)-verb-object' structure, e.g. Eirini give cup.


3.Communication - student's turn

Now it is the student's turn to ask for the object, for example the cup.


Stage a. Initially the student may struggle with building the whole sentence, so we focus on encouraging them to ask for the object only.

After we have given the instruction that they need the cup, the student needs to choose the correct symbol and ask the adult for it by giving them the symbol, in this case the symbol of the cup.


Stage b. If the student has learned to ask for the objects, we can move on to encourage them to use the verbs as well.

For example, if we want the student to ask us to pour water into their cup, we demonstrate the instruction first and then with the help of the symbols the student builds the sentence "pour water".


Stage c. If the student can use the verbs, we can introduce the names of the people. In this way the student learns to recognize the person that they are communicating with and to structure the whole sentence/instruction.

For example" Eirini give spoon" .


In all three stages, it is important to encourage the student, after finding the correct symbol and giving it to us, to read the word or the whole sentence. In case the student does not communicate verbally, we read the word or the complete sentence while the student touches on the matching symbol of the word/sentence.

For more details about the activity, see here.


4.Reward/ Praise

After the student has communicated their message, it is important to praise the student. Even if they make a mistake, it is important to praise their effort.


Each child has different needs and we need to differentiate the activity accordingly. If you are interested in planning a similar activity, you can contact us at florastophasma@gmail.com so that we can share ideas and tips for the best possible outcome.


 

We will share more tips and activities in the future, so keep visiting us.


We are looking forward to hearing your views and experiences.

You can email us at florastophasma@gmail.com.

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