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How to Help Your Autistic or Language Delayed Toddler with Expressive Speech

By Edited May 28, 2014 0 2

Did your toddler stop talking? Maybe your child never talked at all. If you have received or are facing a diagnosis of autism or expressive language delay, here are some ways to help your baby develop much needed language skills.

First, talk to your toddler. This sounds like common sense, and you may be saying, "But I do this already," however a constant narration of events helps your child connect words to the world around him. Developmentally delayed children need as much stimulation as possible.

Talk to Your Toddler

Describe things to your child. Autistic and developmentally delayed children are often sensory learners. Use sight, sound and touch words while showing your toddler what those words mean. For example, describe a cat and use the word soft. Have your child gently touch the soft fur of the cat.
Sing To Your Child

Sing. Sing a lot. The sound of your singing voice is engaging, and can hold your child's attention, and stimulate his brain. Act out the songs or use puppets or toys to help. You may sing "Old MacDonald" with the aid of Fisher Price farm animals. The important thing is to give your baby a concrete anchor to the world through language development. If he has no idea what a pig is, knowing it says oink doesn't mean anything.

Books, whether they have words or not, are a great resource for helping your child with language skills. Reading can just be a description of the pictures if there are few or no words. Sensory enhanced books are even better tools for a developmentally delayed child. The illustrations of these books have various textures.

Gesture as you talk, or use baby sign. These physical representations of speech help your child see the meaning of the spoken w
Learn Baby Sign With Your Toddler
ord. He may begin to sign as a way of communication. Although this is not a spoken form of speech, it is communication and can lead to verbal communication.

Offer choices. If you have two kinds of cereal, use the boxes to ask your little one which he would like. Encourage him to point if he can't yet verbalize his answer. Non-verbal communication can be a stepping-stone for the language delayed, and choices lead to answers.

Any time your child makes an effort to communicate, reward the effort. Stop whatever it is you're doing, and praise your toddler. If he has asked for something, within reason, give it to him. If it is not a reasonable request, acknowledge the appeal, but try to substitute something suitable while explaining the preferred object or action is not feasible.

These are only a few things you can do to help your autistic or language delayed child. Talk to your pediatrician, speech pathologist or psychologist for more ideas.



Jan 31, 2010 10:31am
Hi -

I thought you might find this interesting. Missouri is considering mandating Autism Insurance:

Stuart Jackson Testifies in Support of SB618:

Feb 21, 2010 1:37pm
That's great news! I just hope that CA will do this soon! This whole country needs to wake up and realize we have a generation full of people on spectrum, and they will all need a lot of help over the years. What's gonna happen to these "kids" when mom and dad can't do it all any more.
thanks the mom of an aspie
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