Ways to motivate a non verbal 3 year old to want to communicate

Hello

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

Thanks

Parents
  • 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.

Reply
  • 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.

Children