Saturday, January 15, 2011

Foundations of Successful Communication Skills

Hubby and I attended another interesting and useful workshop conducted by Ms Anita Russell at ARC today. She taught us the basic foundations of successful communication with an ASD child and shared things that we can do to get an ASD child to communicate with us.

The three most important things I learnt are..
1) To use the child's interest, fascinations and preferences as a form of motivation.. For example, even if the child loves to spin objects, we can enter the child's world by imitating the child and then lure the child into our world by expanding on his interest..

2) We have to be a good communication partner. Good strategy is.... LOW, SLOW and SHOW..
LOW- use low voice volume and low partner position
SLOW- use slower rate of speech, key words, allow processing time and resist repeating (wait 10 seconds before repeating the instruction)
SHOW-face the child, use gestures and visuals

3) We have to create communication opportunities. Any time of the day, anywhere, we can create communication opportunities. For example, during meal time, we can seal his lunch box so that he will ask for help to open his box. And we must always remember that the child will not communicate if he doesn't have a reason to. If everything is provided for the child, then there is no reason for him to request for something. Therefore, creating communication opportunities is very, very important.

I have indeed learnt useful strategies this afternoon. And not only do I learn more, these workshops usually make me feel so INVIGORATED that I am more motivated to do more for my boy :))

And so, when I got back and saw Rayyan playing bubbles... I decided to try what I have learnt.. I took the bottle and created an opportunity for him to request for more bubbles. I taught him to say 'MORE' and the next round, I didn't give it to him until he said it. And yes, he did say 'MORE'!!!! Wasn't a perfect 'MORE' but it was really close!!! Well done, Rayyan!! You have made Mummy sooooo happy!!!

PS: Btw, we met Teacher Fadilah at the workshop earlier.. Good to see you Teacher Fadilah!! hehe