Teaching your Child to be a Word Explorer

Social communication challenges are one of the defining characteristics of autism.  For many families, delayed onset of spoken language is one of the first signs that their child might be on the spectrum.  
When a child finds it difficult to express him or herself, frustration often follows for both the child and anyone trying to communicate with him or her.   A key goal for most families is to help their child learn how to communicate. 

At a certain stage, language learners are expected to start learning how to use a symbol (be it a word, picture, or gesture) to make something happen.  To do this, the person must be able to read the social situation, predict what he or she could make happen, think of what to say or do, consider how to do this, and then actually initiate the action of their own free will.

This session will focus on how to support this learning process with the hope that attendees will feel more confident about helping a child learn to initiate communication and communication skills over time.  The analogy we will use is of a “word explorer” who borrows words and phrases then tries them out like a “key” into different “doors” in order to see what happens.