Speech and Language Development

  • Follow Gabbing Together on:

Communicate a Child’s Wants and Needs with a Limited Vocabulary

Date: June 12, 2014 Author: Michele Dickson Categories: Speech and Language Development 0


I cannot believe it is June.  Where has time gone?? I have decided with the summer months ahead of us to write my blog in list forms this way it is quick and easy to look at while you are going about your day.  I received an email from a reader who asked for some recommendation of various speech and language areas within the autism spectrum.
This week’s blog will focus on getting children with ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) to communicate their wants and needs with a limited vocabulary.


A child with limited speech production will rely on gestures and visual (pictures) to communicate:

  1. First, make a list of the all the child’s favorite toys and snacks.  You can use real photos or Mayer Johnson pictures.
  2. Second, put together a simple picture book (no more then 5 pictures and then you can add). You can use a photo album to place pictures in or a clipboard with pictures velcroed to a board.
  3. Third make sure the child can identify each picture.  A child who doesn’t understand what a ball is will not be able to label it to show meaning.
  4. Then give the child the book and ask him/her what they want. Have the child point or they can hand you the picture.
  5. Model the labeled word for the child.  If the child makes an attempt of a sound doesn’t have to be an approximation of the word then reward the child with high fives or tickles even bubbles can be reinforcing.
  6. You can also PROMPT a sound on the lips (talked about PROMPT technique in last weeks blog).
    Ex: child points to ball you go to give child ball and you model word and then place your fingers on child’s lips for the buh sound.  If the child gives you ah sound reward them with a high five and good job using your words.  Don’t get discouraged it can take many attempts to get a child to make a  sound.
Thank you for all your suggestions and keep them coming.

Receive an update straight to your inbox every time I publish a new article. Your email address will never be shared

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.