Autism Spectrum Disorder: Persistent Communicators Wanted
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Autism Spectrum Disorder: Persistent Communicators Wanted

Recently, I attended a workshop presented by Amy Maschue entitled “The 3 P’s of Parent Engagement & Communication.”  During this session, Amy presented background information on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and offered 10 strategies that we can use.  Amy stated that we need to be persistent communicators in a variety of ways with persons who have ASD, as communication issues often create a sense of urgency and can lead to behavioral problems.  For persons with ASD, the struggle for communication may be a major reality that inhibits fulfillment within their lives.

Amy continued that language learning and behavior can be complicated.  It occurs through multiple animated exchanges.  Language learning is about patterns that are learned by interacting with others.  Vocabulary encourages language learning and connection points.  Furthermore, non-verbal communication includes patterns as well.  For persons with ASD, however, difficulty may exist in interacting with others as they may not be able to understand non-verbal information and may have difficulty recognizing expressions.  As such, in our persistent communication, we should highlight these items and assist in teaching communication beyond words, which develops in non-verbal mediums.

As such, Amy offered 10 strategies that can assist in communication.  These strategies are as follows:

  • Rule of TEN
    • Take turns talking
    • Engage with eyes
    • Notice non-verbal’s
  • Visual Supports
    • If a person with ASD cannot read, we should use pictures.
    • Trouble may exist with transitions because persons with ASD may not know where to go.  We need to make this predictable.
  • Sensory profile
    • Look at sensory issues.  See what alerts them and calms them.
    • Help calm the core (beanbags, exercise balls, and heavy lifting can assist with this process).
    • Identify what the sensory issue is and see how to fix that sensory issue.
  • Slow, Clear, Different
    • Apraxia (inability to make intelligible words) usually suggest a motor-program problem.
    • We can help by slowing persons with ASD down and help them to open their mouths.
  • Talk through
    • Get sensory concerns out of the way first.
    • Teach talk through strategy.
      • Describe and interpret behavior.
      • State how this behavior affects others.
      • Brainstorm possible solutions.
      • Help execute best solution.
    • Win-Win
      • Stay calm (count to 10, take deep breaths, and take your time).
      • Tell how you feel and why.
        • Listen to how the other person feels and why.
        • Think of possible solutions together.
        • Find win-win and agree on the compromise.
      • Plan B Cards
        • Use this as a process to overcome problems, such as sensory aversion.
        • If and then statements are very important in language.
      • Toy-storming
        • Be creative with the tools you have.
        • Think of different ways to do things.
      • How to cards
        • Write out steps on how to do different things.
        • Watch first and then display.
      • Good PAL Guidelines
        • Be a good PAL.
          • Participate in the group.
          • Ask questions and tell information.
          • Listen for pauses and fill them in.


Posted by Jeremy Wine

This has been a special needs program update from Life Development Institute. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.