One of the best ways to teach a child new skills is through play.
Communication and play are very closely linked; if a child has high play skills, it is more likely they will also have high communication skills. Through play, children learn about the world, how to interact with it, and how to interact with others.
Play can help develop many communication skills including;
- Understanding (receptive language e.g. words, phrases, concepts etc.)
- Use of words/language (expressive language, verbal and nonverbal)
- Joint attention (sharing an experience with others)
- Turn taking and waiting
- Copying actions, sounds and/or words (imitation)
- Social communication (verbal and nonverbal)
Here are 3 tips for communicating with your child during play:
Give our child the chance to initiate (what they want to play with, sounds, words, actions etc.).
FOLLOW THEIR LEAD
Children learn best when they are interested. If they want to play with the cushion, play with the cushion! You can make a game out of anything.
GET TO THEIR LEVEL
Get on the floor and join in! This not only continues to build an emotional bond, but creates more opportunities for eye contact. If your child is on the playground, go on there with them. Some children use language the most when being active.
Remember, if you’re having fun, your child will be having fun too. Fun = learning.
If you have any concerns about your child’s communication or development, please contact Acorn Autism for support.