Some people who have autism are able to communicate clearly, even if they had early delays in speaking. Other people are what is called nonverbal. Our two children with autism are nonverbal.
What Does Nonverbal Mean?
It would be easy to assume that nonverbal means that a person is unable to speak. That is not exactly correct.
Our daughter has pretty severe language limitations. Even so, when she is hungry she can say, “Toast please,” or request, “Juice.” She is able to say a few other things that she has learned by rote.
Our son is different. If you met him, you would understand why he is considered nonverbal. What you would not realize is that he is actually able to speak clearly if he chooses to. This most often happens when he is angry or sad. However, he generally does not communicate with verbal language.
How to Connect With Nonverbal Children
So how can you communicate with a child who is either unable or unwilling to speak. Although we have discovered ways to connect with our children, I think it is better to share from someone else’s experience. Here is an article by Lois Prislovsky on how to connect. There are some very useful suggestions.
What I really want you to get is, it is possible.
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