See Develop Communication Through Play - Part 1 for more ideas.
When trying to build language and communication with your child, be sure to praise them for attempts and success. The duration of the activity is dependent on your child’s attention span which will ideally increase the more you play with them.
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 some more tips for communicating with your child during play:
Take turns - turn taking is important in play and communication
Imitate - copy your child’s actions, sounds/words. This increases the likelihood of them copying you one day. Hint: have double of some items so you can both do the same action for the same item at the same time. You can then expand (see below)
Expand play - make small changes that would interest your child.
Expand language - use 1-2 more words than they are using:
- Child: “Ball”
- Adult: “Big ball”
See Hanen.org or contact Acorn Autism for more details.
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.