Look At Me: How To Encourage Eye Contact

Loving mother looking at her daughterTalking face-to-face, your child with autism doesn’t look at you. Her eyes have never intentionally met yours. It’s hurtful sometimes – it would feel so connective if she’d gaze at you when you said I love you – and at other times it comes across as rude. It’s not her fault and it’s not yours. Many people on the spectrum struggle with eye contact, finding it uncomfortable or, for some, extremely stressful. Given that eye contact doesn’t come naturally to kiddos with ASD, should you encourage Penny to peek into your peepers? We think so. […]

Play is a Child’s Work

play Playing dress up, tea party, soccer and Hide-and-Seek is as easy as breathing for neurotypical kids. They innately know what to do and nothing makes them happier than games with their friends. That’s not the case for children with autism. For them, playing, especially with pals, isn’t second nature; it’s actually kind of foreign. What’s a parent to do? Teach your child with autism to play! It’s a fun job and an important one, because play has a lot of developmental benefits. For example, it builds social skills, joint attention, communication, imitation, problem-solving and turn-taking. To get your honey sweet on the idea of interacting playfully with you – and, later on, other kids – follow the steps below. […]

Teach Your Child Joint Attention

jointattention350Let’s say you’re hanging out with your neighbour, Paul. In your time together, you’ll point out interesting things in the backyard, look at him when he’s commenting on your blooming petunias and make eye contact throughout your game of cards. Joint attention, which is essentially the ability to get, hold and shift attention when you’re interacting with another person, comes naturally to you. The opposite, however, is true for most kids with autism. As joint attention is an important part of social, language and cognitive development, it’s a good idea to foster your sweetie’s skills. Here’s how to start. […]

Tips To Get Your Child To Talk

beginner talkerIs your typically developing toddler (18-24months old) or minimally verbal child with ASD tight-lipped when it comes to speaking? Fret not! There are reliable ways to get your child to talk. We recommend communication temptations for the beginner talker, which involve setting up enticing scenarios that encourage words out of your sweetie. The key, moms and dads, is to not anticipate what Amy desires – you must wait for her to ask for Dora before handing over the doll. When Amy realizes that she can get access to her favourite things with verbal requests, she’ll be motivated to continue chatting. Here’s how to put communication temptations into action to get your child to talk. […]