Hi parents,

Learning to communicate with anyone can be challenging at times and yet it is a skill that is crucial to life. Communicating with children, who don’t think in the same way that adults do, may be even harder. One of the primary distinguishing features of autism is that these children have severe trouble with communication and social interaction. This makes it even more important to learn good communication skills and to learn how to communicate in a way that will truly help the child.

Treating autistic children with respect is a key factor in communicating with them, but there is much more to it than that. Good communication with your autistic child has two functions.

1. it helps to create a good and healthy relationship between you and your child.
2. it helps to reach your child when it may be otherwise difficult to get her attention or to have her change her behavior. Knowing how to communicate with your autistic child so that she really understands and so that you really understand her takes practice and it requires you to understand how you child takes in information.

Of course, there is another facet to communicating with your autistic child – the severity of the disorder. If your child is only mildly autistic with somewhat well-developed language skills or has Asperger syndrome, in which the child does have strong language skills, then communication is going to be much easier. However, if you child is severely autistic, then you will have to work much harder at determining how best to communicate with her.

Consider the human mind as a computer system, complete with all the hardware and software required for it to run efficiently. In a healthy human brain all the hardware and software is up-to-date and working just fine. In the brain of an autistic child, the software may be outdated and the hardware is incomplete. There may be missing circuits so that messages are not getting to the hard drive properly and there may be keys missing from the keyboard, which makes it difficult for anyone to input the messages in the first place.

In a mildly autistic child, most of the hardware is probably working and intact, which allows for relatively easy communication. However, in severely autistic children there are so many keys and circuits missing that it is really difficult to communicate with the hard drive. Depending on where your child falls on this spectrum, communication is going to be easier or more difficult. However, it is possible.

You have probably heard at some point that every child, every person for that matter, has a specific learning style. This is because each person has what is called a primary sense system. “Primary sense system?” you say. Let me explain. The human senses of sight, hearing, and touch are more important than you might think. These senses are the key ingredients in learning and conveying information. It’s true! And what’s even more important is that, while people use all three sense systems to a degree, each and every person has one of these sense systems that operates as the primary sense system. Some people are visual (V), some are audio (A), and some are feeling or kinesthetic (K).

Even autistic children have a primary sense system. In general, all young children tend to be at least somewhat kinesthetic, but their primary sense system will begin to dominate by the time they reach school age. When it comes to autistic children, research shows that they operate primarily out of the visual. However, they also tend to respond well to music as an auditory stimulus. Autistic children also tend not to like being touched, which is one of the early signs in infants to suggest that autism is present. How do you determine your autistic child’s primary sense system? There is a very easy method to determine this and it can be used on mildly autistic children who have fairly well-developed language skills.

You can determine the primary sense system of your child simply by listening to the way she talks. Really, it’s that easy. All you have to do is pay attention to the predicates used. These descriptive words will fall in line with one of the sense systems. If your autistic child went for a walk in the forest how might she describe it? Would she talk about what she saw, what she heard, or what she felt? After all, your child’s primary sense system is part of her filter, part of what forms her perception of the world.

Do you like this positive strategy with communicating to your autistic child?

Stay tuned for more tips.

Please do me a favor by providing your comments so that I can provide you with more tips.

Author's Bio: 

Rachael Mah is a Master Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practioner and Coach. Rachael's passion is to help parents and teachers to coach their children and students to succeed in life as individuals. Please visit http://www.motivateschoolkids.com for details.