Whether or not they have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, all children continue to develop their social communication skills in their preschool years. Around the age of 3, they use language to talk not only about the present, but about the past and the future, and also to problem solve. Their conversations sound more adult-like: they consider their partner’s interests by making a comment or asking a question about what the other person has said, and they listen to and look at their partner when he or she talks.
The early years are especially crucial for verbal children on the autism spectrum because they still face special communication challenges. Often, these children find it difficult to:
- Have conversations with others
- Play with children their own age
- Talk about things that interest someone else
- Change a routine without becoming frustrated
If you’ve noticed more than one of these difficulties in your child, the TalkAbility Program can help. Specifically designed for parents of verbal children ages 3-7 with social communication difficulties, the TalkAbility Program teaches parents practical ways to help their child learn people skills.
By “people skills”, we mean the ability to “tune in” to the thoughts and feelings of others by paying attention to non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, eye gaze, and tone of voice. The ability to consider other points of view and to have empathy for others is essential for successful conversations and for making friends. Children with social communication difficulties require extra help to develop these skills.
When you take the TalkAbility Program, you’ll learn:
- How your child carries on conversation and the next steps to take to help him have back-and-forth conversations
- How to encourage your child to pay attention to the social messages people send non-verbally
- How to talk so your child can tune in to what others are thinking
- How to help your child tell stories and play imaginatively
- How to help your child make friends