- Autism & Developmental Services
Written By: Michelle E. Sisto, MS CCC-SLP TSSLD CAS
In general, the skill of answering questions is a complex one. First, a child must hear the question correctly, if verbal means of communication is being used. Next, the child must understand the difference between the different types of questions. Then, the meaning and context of the question must be understood. Afterwhich, an answer is formulated and expressed. These steps are some of the reasons that answering questions can be a complex skill to master.
When children learn to answer questions, it takes more than just teaching them rote responses. This is because teaching rote response only teaches children to answer specific questions rather than questions in general. Each different “wh” question warrants a different type of response. “Where” questions require a response that is indicative of location.
Asking a variety of “where” questions is important to ensure that the child is generalizing the responses that are appropriate. By asking one type of “where” questions, the child will be taught rote responses that will not teach them the concept of “where” that is needed when answering these questions. It is important to teach and explain the concept of “where” instead of memorizing responses to “where” questions. This strategy helps children to consider a variety of contexts, settings, and interactions to successfully answer these questions to help them be successful in all interactions they encounter.
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