My little boy is going through the diagnosis process at the moment. This post relates mainly to speech therapy, we’ve been told he needs specialised speech and language therapy because he is non verbal and he is not motivated to communicate or even want to learn to.
Has anyone else been in this position and can give me some tips and ideas on how to motivate him?
Speech and Language therapy won’t even consider us for one to one or group sessions as they say it’s pointless when he doesn’t have the foundations to want to communicate.
Any help greatly appreciated
I don't have any experience of this I'm sorry, this is probably a silly question but are you using a pecs system with him? Or other communication device?
I am sure you are already aware that behaviour can be communication as well I was just wondering if there was any way you could use something he likes or knows to encourage him,
Alot of autistic children start speaking later and if he is feeling pressured into speaking it may make him more reluctant to do so
I am sorry I'm not more helpful, but check the sections on the site maybe there is so helpful information there if not I suggest that you call the helpline they can give you more information
HI, As a parent I'm not going to tell you not to worry. You are right to be concerned and want to help your son.
I'm sorry to hear that your efforts are thwarted in getting help. Initially, I would go back to the therapist and ask them how do I
- to get him verbalising
- get him motivated
Or ask him to recommend someone.
My gut is I would have fun and wait for the diagnosis as he has an issue on the ASD spectrum. And the practitioners should have programs that will be tailored to him. But that doesn't sound like fun. I would ask to be sure they will have something in place. And also ask what can you do now.
I know the wait is long. And you can get interim help from social services by asking for a social services child assessment, and careers assessment for you to enable you to help better.
Finally, as autism is a life long condition, you can help him adjust by perhaps explaining things more than you would than other children. There are training techniques to help him. Most of them are games that you sit and play. Not all are endorsed by the NHS or NICE.
Einstein didn't start talking until 4.
Can you explain PECS system please?
Thank you for your reply. We have started to use PEC’s as a form of communication but as soon as he has got to a point of making choices and selecting what he wants from his PEC’s board he lost interest. If I’m sat in front of him doing PECs he can do it but of his own accord he won’t. Our private speech and language therapist we had seemed to then drift away from PECs and not really continue with how we move forward hence why we now have a new one that we haven’t seen yet.
My little one is a good eater so we used food to motivate with PECS but think he got wise to that!
PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication. I am very new to it but all I know and have seen with my own son is he has a picture of the object so say for example a strawberry and then I have the bowl of strawberries with me and if my son wants a strawberry he has to pick up his picture and physically hand it to me to get the strawberry. I am sure someone else will be able to explain in more detail but that’s only as far as we have got with it.
Thank you for your reply.
The link is most helpful. I did try to get that bit of support about motivation yesterday from Child Development Centre when I spoke to them but they just told me my son needs specialised speech and language therapy and I’ve got to find what motivates him. That’s the part I’m struggling with I felt like screaming at them!
We have a new private speech and language therapist coming next week to assess our son and I’m hoping there are some fresh ideas
Hi. I have Asperger's. From my personal experience, a reward for communicating is important.When I was young my communication issues centered around not knowing how to say what I was trying to say (and were never addressed-- still persist today). I didn't know how to tell someone if something hurt or bothered me, I just accepted it, did my best to forgive someone who had hurt or done something I didn't like to me, and moved on. I felt isolated.You could try giving your boy some extra attention, and love (not to say you don't usually) when he expresses a need or desire. Also, because he may be communicating on a different level, you could try being actually very attentive to his body and what he says, or even doesn't say.It's known in the community that people on the spectrum sometimes communicate their emotions through passive or body-language means...Ex, someone asks you how you are, you say to the effect of: "I don't know" and sort of shrug and look at the person with your best confused expression. Its common to not have the words.Something that helps Aspies a lot is asking the "normal/neurotypical people" around them why they did/do what they did/do or what they are doing, for what reason they said 'x', etc. Social explanations basically. (just because we aren't picking up on our own).Maybe encouraging him (if he is at the age) to ask a question if he is confused or wants more info. A reward for a question is simply the answer, the answer can even inspire a want to learn more.And so on that note, be honest and try to I guess just explain ya know, "Hey honey, I want you to take a bath, (because its important to be clean/ because you can get to play with your bath toys/ because its time to take a bath)"...literally anything helps.Like, ya know, "Hey, can you tell me what you want right now?" or "Can you tell me why you want to eat chocolate and not your spinach?" (ha ha), "Hey, what would you like to do?"Questions are a great way to encourage communication, try to find what he is interested in talking about...whether it be himself or whatever. even just what he is doing and thinking, and what you are doing and thinking.I really hope this helps, Julie. Good luck.
Thank you for your personal response it really helps. I will try some of the things you have said. I’ve always just talked to my son like normal he’s only just 3 years old and he did have some words up until 18 months old then they stopped completely.
He babbles back to me sometimes so I imitate his sounds as though we are having a conversation.
I’m just trying to make his life easier for him as he grows up if he can learn to communicate.
Absolutely. I can't stress enough how right you are for talking to him normally-- because that is the best way to help someone with any kind of ASD if you don't know a better way.If he had words and then slowed with using them, he perhaps isn't getting what he is trying to get when using them. If a tool doesn't serve you, you wont use it, and that humans are very renowned for our tool-use (as its what helps us to be the "top animal" on this planet) is simply just to say your son tried to use the human tool of speech and it isn't serving him. All you gotta do is help him use that tool.You're a smart mom, you've got this.I'm always here to help if you need anything more, or have questions..