I’ll never forget the astonishment I felt the time I heard a non-verbal child say his first words.
I was observing a regular therapy session where we were working on basic sound imitation with a non-verbal child. To our excitement, the child began repeating the sound “ba”. With enthusiasm, we quickly tried to add in more sounds. He vocalized a clear “mmm”. This was a huge success, but what happened afterward absolutely blew us away. When we asked him to sit down, he repeated as clear as day: “sit down”.
Moments like these are the first step to meaningful communication, and are ones that make me so glad I chose a career as a BCBA. Communication is an essential skill that allows individuals to express themselves and interact with the world around them. As many parents with a child on the autism spectrum know, communication delays can be incredibly frustrating. Even though they are trying their best, the inability to share their wants and needs makes everyday life very difficult.
Another way to communicate
Augmentative communication systems can be a great asset for those on the autism spectrum by helping them share the wonderful thoughts going through their heads. I once had a student who had been using an iPad to communicate his basic wants and needs for about six months, a skill that was improving his life at school and at home immensely. One day, without any prompting, he walked up to his mom and launched Google maps. He began zooming in on the US, then Florida, then–to her astonishment–the exact house he and his family had stayed in a year before while on vacation. Through this form of independent communication, he was able to finally demonstrate his incredible geographical memory.
Designing curriculum around communication
When children are beginning a comprehensive ABA program, there can be delays across all skill areas. Portia ABA Clinic Software lets you design curriculum to address individual skill deficits for each child, so you can focus specifically on developing a functional communication system. With the potential to unlock the world around us, communication is the most powerful skill any of us can learn.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide any type of professional advice. Portia does not guaranty the accuracy or reliability of any information contained in this blog from third party sources. You should consult a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or other qualified professional for specific advice. Portia International assumes no responsibility for any reliance made on or misuse or omissions of the information contained in this blog.