1. Parenting
    2. Autism
    3. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication



    Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication

    Children with autism may find it difficult to initiate interactions, respond to others, or use interaction to show people things. It is important to establish a communication process with children having autism to understand them better and also to be understood by them. Discuss, share, help other parents and ask your queries regarding communication! ... more

    • Team ParentCircle
    • 133
    • 7
    • Dec 6 2018


    Team ParentCircle Feb 20 2019

    My 8 year old daughter has autism. Whenever she is happy she starts nodding her head strongly and claps her hands continuously. But when asked to say something about why she is happy, she becomes perplexed and gets very angry. I do not know how to handle it. Sometimes even I get irritated when she doesn't respond the way I expect her to, but then I understand that she is different from other children. Please help!

    Team ParentCircle Feb 22 2019

    @Team ParentCircle I can imagine how confusing this behaviour must be for you. However, social disconnection is a striking feature of autism. Children with autism appear unable to interpret the social world and its oft-unspoken cues. They are said to have mindblindness or the lack of ability to take another persons perspective, and respond accordingly. This makes it difficult for them to display social and emotional responsiveness. Thus, neither are they able to express their own needs clearly nor are they able to understand and interpret the needs of others. They also display difficulties in social interaction, and need to be taught social skills (for example, which make participating in conversations easier) explicitly. So expecting your child to respond the way you want will likely set you up for disappointment. You can try the following strategies for communicating with your child, but kindly remember that each child with autism is unique, and what may work with one child with autism may not work with another:
    a) Encourage play: Children learn through play, and that includes learning language. Interactive play provides enjoyable opportunities for you and your child to communicate. Try a variety of games to find those your child enjoys. Also try playful activities that promote social interaction. For example, singing, reciting songs or rhymes. During your interactions, position yourself in front of your child and close to eye level so its easier for your child to see and hear you.

    b) Imitate your child. Mimicking your childs sounds and play behaviors will encourage more vocalizing and interaction. It also encourages your child to copy you and take turns. Make sure you imitate how your child is playing so long as its a positive behavior. For example, when she does nod and clap, copy that with a happy expression and say "I'm happy". This will encourage your child to associate her actions with the emotion.

    c) Simplify your language. Doing so helps your child follow what youre saying. It also makes it easier for her to imitate your speech. If your child is nonverbal, try speaking mostly in single words. (If shes playing with a ball, you say ball or roll.) If your child is speaking single words, speak in short phrases, such as roll ball or throw ball. Keep following this one-up rule: Generally use phrases with one more word than your child is using.

    d) Follow your childs interests. Rather than interrupting your childs focus, follow along with words. Using the one-up rule, narrate what your child is doing. If shes playing with a shape sorter, you might say the word in when she puts a shape in its slot. You might say shape when she holds up the shape and dump shapes when she dumps them out to start over. By talking about what engages your child, youll help her learn the associated vocabulary.

    I hope you're able to apply these strategies to help a smoother communication between you and your child!

    best wishes

    Team ParentCircle May 9 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Dr.Meghna, thank you so much for your elaborate answer. This was exactly what I was also facing with my niece and this is very much helpful. Thank you. Please shed some light on how different will a special school's education for children with autism be from regular schools.

    Team ParentCircle Jul 25 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Dear parent, there are several differences between a special school's education for children with autism from regular schools:
    1. Special schools have staff appropriately trained to understand and cater to the requirements of children with autism. Regular school teachers may or may not have undergone this training and may not be sensitively able to respond to such requirements.
    2. Understanding the varying degrees of autism spectrum disorder, and how to best enable a students ability to reach their full learning potential is also what differentiates a special school personnel from that of a regular school.
    3. Their special training also enables teachers to better understand a wide range of conditions that co-exist with autism (such as learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and Tourette's syndrome) and research-based strategies for successful intervention.
    An example of a special education program is the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren program (TEACCH). This program emphasizes extensive collaboration with and training of the parents, so that they become knowledgeable about their childs disorder and needs. This program provides a highly structured approach for autistic children at school. A system is developed with stepwise visualization of the actions needed to fulfill a task. Through this system the life-environment can be structured, and parents can act as co-therapists and continue with the principles of TEACCH at home.
    For the majority of children with autism, special education provides them with the skills required for social inclusion as adults so that they leave school with the skills needed to fit in with and be accepted by society, and develop strategies to minimize their difficulties. Such an emphasis is lacking in regular schools.
    A useful alternative to special education is inclusion in mainstream education- and such alternatives can include resource rooms (separate classrooms where children can be offered individual teaching for part of the school day) and dual placements (in which pupils are enrolled in both mainstream and a special placement).

    Team ParentCircle Jul 19 2019

    Discussing about puberty with a child who has Autism can be quite challenging. What and how you communicate depends a lot on the modes of communication your child prefers. If he /she does not express through speech then you may have to use visual aid, dramatization, pictorial representation, audiographic aid, etc. But if he engages in verbal communication then regular discussions will also be an added advantage.
    Read this article to know how one can talk to your child about puberty >>>> https://raisingchildren.net.au/autism/development/physical-development/preparing-for-puberty-asd

    Team ParentCircle Jan 21 2019

    This clipbook dwells on some important issues pertaining to autism. Check out to learn more.

    Team ParentCircle Jul 16 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Agreed. Thanks for sharing team!

    Team ParentCircle Jul 3 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Very informative video! Thanks for sharing team!

    Team ParentCircle Feb 5 2019

    Have a look at home-based activities that double up as therapy for children with autism.

    Team ParentCircle Jan 28 2019

    My second son has autism and what really bothers me is people staring at him or giving him stern looks whenever i take him out somewhere. He tends to shout and say hi to people randomly. I find his actions friendly, but his hellos are never reciprocated, but rather get gets stares. This really bothers me. i don't want them to feel sorry for him or me, but them staring really feels bad and he is also clueless as to why he always gets those stares.

    Team ParentCircle Jan 30 2019

    @Team ParentCircle Dear Parent,

    Thank you for sharing your frustration. You are not alone in experiences such as this. Many parents are sailing the same boat such as you. In my experience, some of our children tend to extend their friendship to the world without discrimination. There are a few ways to address this.

    1. One of the most effective ways to address this is to work with yourself so that you may eliminate your frustration about others reaction to your son. If you can disregard the stares, snide remarks and sympathetic gazes, then you will look be able to look past what bothers you.

    You may tell yourself that "They are reacting from their current place of understanding which is not your place of understanding. Educating others is not my task but to keep myself, my son and my family happy."

    If you do wish to educate others, then you may do so but from a place of powerful knowing about your son and his gesture of extending his friendliness to the world without discrimination. If you feel angry or sad then that is not the time to educate others. Best would be to remove yourself from the situation than react from a place of dis-empowerment.

    Prepare yourself to this approach even before you step out with your son. Prepare to lead your son for a walk in world where being friendly is the norm rather than an aberration. Remember you are the bridge between this loving son of yours and the world which has forgotten how to smile or to stop to smell the roses.

    2. Educate and encourage your son to smile heartily rather than saying hi as smiling is less of an aberration than a loud hi in the views of the world. Do not stop him from this but whenever possible, when in such a situation, explain to him that he can send loving thoughts to the stranger if he does not gets a hi back.

    3. You may request the stranger to wish your son back if situation permits. However do not go into detailed discussion about autism or his challenges or his condition. Just a brief explanation that he likes to make friends and you would very much appreciate a gentle hello back from them. Move on as quickly as you can because just the experience of smiling and saying hello to your son would have shifted something in the stranger.

    4. The most important lesson for me in these situations is to totally disregard the others reaction to me, to stand in my own power and to be unapologetic about my presence in the world. I have noticed that our children too are like that - they are not apologetic about who they truly are, presenting themselves with all their rocking, sounds, odd movements and other socially unacceptable behaviours.

    Good luck with this!

    Love and light,


    Team ParentCircle Dec 10 2018

    When children have learning difficulties or speech, language and communication difficulties because of autism, Assistive Technology can help them overcome these barriers. It refers to tools that are used to engage children with autism in learning, communicating and socializing. Read here to know more about how Assistive Technology can help your child, click here https://www.parentcircle.com/article/7-ways-assistive-technology-can-help-children-with-autism/

    Team ParentCircle Dec 10 2018

    @Team ParentCircle When children have learning difficulties or speech and language difficulties because of autism, assistive technology can help them overcome these barriers. Read on to know how it can help.