Types of Nonverbal Communication
Did you know that your child, whether they can speak words or not, is capable of communicating in so many different ways? Communication is a broad term for many different ways. While we are so used to talking as communication, there are other different types, such as pointing, eye contact, obviously sign language, behaviors. I know communication is just basically making sure that I can tell somebody or show somebody what I’m feeling or what I want.
Communication does not always have to be words. With behaviors, oftentimes we are able to determine at that exact moment that our child does not want what we have for them or that they are not happy in this moment. Communication is so important because we all want our wants and needs met.
Gestures and Signals
There are different ways that we can start teaching communication. In the beginning, we could teach communication just by using gestures and pointing or looking at our child’s eye gaze.
We want to prompt this as much as possible. Keeping items a little bit out of reach so that your child is able to bring them to you is a great way to just start your child off by teaching them how to communicate.
Echoic Demand Training
Eventually we can start working on picture prompts or a communication device or working on, it’s called echoic demand training, where we’re starting to utilize vocalizations and shaping them so that your child is able to use words.
Picture prompts, though, are great way to get started. You could show a picture or have your child give you the picture, and then they exchange it and it becomes a way that you’re able to know what they want. This does take a lot of practice and I do think you should consult with a speech therapist or a BCBA if you would like to enact some of these programs.