Each day as you are learning to develop daily routine charts for your child, there is also something else needed for you to work on and that is communication. It’s what we do every day from the moment we wake up until we go to bed.
There are many ways to communicate besides talking. When Landon was a little over 2, the first thing we learned was sign language. We learned a few simple words such as ball, stop, finished among others.
The importance of developing social communication strategies is that it will lesson behavior problems as they grow up and understand. Most Autistic children have intellectual delays. They may appear to be 15 outside but their brain development is several years younger. Having a communication tool assists with their delays.
You can try assistive devices-
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Check out their on-line store. They have many communication devices to try. Here is a picture of one of the devices that they manufacture.:
There are even Apps to purchase such as Proloquo2Go, iCommunicate for iPad, and My Talk Tools Mobile. These Apps can be used on a Smart Phone, Tablet, or iPad.
While these electronic devices are nice they need to be charged, some need batteries, they provide audio so you might not be able to use them in some settings, they are expensive, if you can’t access the internet you can’t use them, they can be damaged-outdated or programs can become obsolete.
Providing Visual Supports by providing Picture Exchange Symbols to be used as Communication Cards. You can purchase a BoardMaker online subscription that will allow you to set up schedules and communication boards. I prefer to create my own. You can purchase my Communication Boards at Autism Creations or on this website.
If you want to create your own communication board and pictures it is done the same way as creating schedules. I started our communication system with meal times and chose Landon’s favorite foods he would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Why do I prefer the Picture Exchange Method? It’s cost-effective. Once you’ve established basic pictures and boards your child needs, you can use them in multiple settings. You only use what you need. As I mentioned above, you can even make your own communication boards and schedules and place them where you need them through your home. The items you create can easily be brought with you to any setting. Children also don’t get distracted with buttons to press.
I still keep Landon’s communication book we used to show what we had to work with. I created this with a small photo album. I wrapped Picture Exchange cards with page protectors and tape, because purchasing a laminator in the 90s was expensive. Even though I didn’t use high quality card stock and laminate, his pictures lasted for a number of years.
When you need pictures, you can even clip magazine pictures too and use them as communication cards. As long as your child responds to the method you provide it really doesn’t matter what you use.