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In this presentation we are going to look at ways to enhance communication with children and people with autism.
People with autism are just like everyone else, they can communicate with others and express their needs, wants and feelings.
As we have seen in another presentation on the “Sensory Environment”, the place where the communication is to take place is really important.
To view the presentation on the Sensory Environment: Click Here
It’s important to remember that many people with autism have sensory issues that can impact on their ability to communicate or to stay connected in social situations:
So here’s a very quick summary on the Sensory Environment before we look at Communication.
The Sensory Environment:
Here are some simple steps that can be taken to ensure better communication:
Give a clear outline of what is going to happen from start to finish before you begin.
Speak slowly if necessary.
Use a soft tone of voice.
(Don’t raise your voice or shout)
Do not use slang, idioms or abstract concepts in your conversation and avoid sarcasm.
Be patient – wait for a response.
If required check understanding before you move on.
If required, use a visual to assist understanding.
Don’t force eye contact.
Look for sign or anxiety or stress. If the person is becoming overwhelmed, suggest a break.
Advise the person in advance if you are going to get up, move around or approach them.
When greeting the person don’t force a handshake or embrace. Ask the person if they would like to shake hands.
Don’t talk down to the person and be accepting of their communication style which is often direct and honest.
Ignore any off topic comments that may be made, they are not meant personally.
Last but not least, please remember that the person with autism is often out of their comfort zone both socially and emotionally and interactions can be difficult and challenging for them.
Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.