Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

April 23, 2015

Communicating with a Nonverbal Child: a Speech Therapy review

Allison Parker, MS CCC-SLP, speech therapist at the Midtown office of Child and Family Development, recently reviewed an article related to autism and the nonverbal child.      

The article from Friendship Circle offers tips on how to facilitate communication, including: 

1. Enter into their world by using motivating people, items, etc. to encourage communication

2. Label feelings as they occur

3. Assume competence

4. Model Language and use Aided Language Stimulation

5. Use a total communication approach using both unaided and aided communication

Allison shares that one of the biggest ways to encourage children to communicate is finding what motivates them and using a total communication approach. If a child is motivated by bubbles, using a picture of bubbles, signing for ‚Äúmore‚Äù, and pointing are all great ways to communicate. Pictures, gestures, and signs paired with words will not take away from the speech component, which is the ultimate goal. It will only increase communication and make it more effective. It‚Äôs also important for parents and caregivers to model language to the child as it increases the child‚Äôs receptive language and will eventually increase expressive language as well. 

Our team of 9 licensed speech therapists, rather than assistants or aides, is available to share their expertise.  We are in-network with many insurance plans, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield NC, Cigna, Medcost, North Carolina Medicaid, Primary Physician Care and United Health Care.  Our clients also may pay privately and access out-of-network benefits.