Every parent dreams of the day when their little one says their first word. For some parents, especially of children with autism, that day never comes.
My boy Pablo is a chatty 4th grader now, in spite of his autism – but he didn’t speak until he was four years old. For a long time, we weren’t sure if he would ever be able to talk at all.
Even though he couldn’t speak, Pablo was able to communicate with my husband and me, and even his sisters, through sign language. Learning basic sign language was easy – I purchased a few DVDs, and we simply started using signs whenever we spoke to the children. Eventually, even our infant twins began signing long before they were old enough to speak. One of the most touching moments I’ve ever experienced with my son was at the zoo, when he saw the giraffes – his favorite animal. He got a big grin on his face and immediately started signing, “Giraffe!” over and over.
You can imagine how being able to communicate with our son eased our frustration!
Communication is a basic human need, allowing people to connect with others, make decisions that affect their lives, express feelings and feel part of the community they live in.
People with little or no speech still have the same communication needs as the rest of us. We may just have to work a bit harder to find a communication strategy that works.
Read more about 23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child, courtesy of Friendship Circle Blog.