SLPs helping children with autism communicate: Working with young children and their families

SLPs helping children with autism communicate: Working with young children and their families


[peaceful music] LEAH: Ahh!
I see you! [laughs] CHILD: [laughs] LEAH: When we think about
interaction and communication, for a little kid, play is huge. It’s at the center of that. And we want kids to be able
to play independently and with their parents
and with their peers. Ohhhh! The thing that I love
most about working with kids on the spectrum
is they have just the most unique perspective on the world. And they’re smart and funny
and creative and empathetic. I think oftentimes, we don’t think of them
as being empathetic. Shh shh shh.
Go to sleep there. BOTH: [snoring] CHILD: Hi!
LEAH: Hi! We’re awake now! So, one of the things that I
get to do every day with play is get down on
the floor with them and follow their lead with it. The reason that we watch
what kids do and then do what those kids do is that
they are gonna be so much more motivated to interact
with us and communicate with us if we’re on their playing field. CHILD: Want more.
[drinking noise] LEAH: Play is also so
important in terms of cognitive development and also in terms of
expanding interests in things. MOM: More ice cream? LEAH: So, communication
doesn’t always mean speech. It doesn’t always
mean verbal language. Communication can look so
different for different kids. And what we’re trying to figure
out is how can we get this kid to let you know what he
wants and what he needs? And how can we get you talking
about the same thing so that you’re having a conversation? LEAH: Uh-oh.
CHILD: Uh-oh. LEAH: Uh-oh.
It’s empty. CHILD: It empty.
LEAH: It’s empty! One thing that makes me so
excited about going to work every day is the chance to be
having a therapy session with a family, and perhaps
that family didn’t think their child would ever
communicate with them. And then it’s like a whole
world of possibilities opens up for that family. MOM: Good boy.
One more. LEAH: We want to
respect and value this idea of neurodiversity, that
brains think differently, and that’s OK. And we need to meet people
where they are and discover the way that
they think and then help them do the things that they’re
maybe having trouble with. Starting with the child’s
perspective and what the child wants is
really just at the, it’s the foundation
of everything we do. It motivates them, it helps them engage with us,
and it helps them feel valued. LEAH: One, two… CHILD: Three.
LEAH: Three!!! Oh! [peaceful music]

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