If you know or care for someone with autism, you’ll understand how difficult it can sometimes be to communicate with them. Autism presents itself across a spectrum of severity and so communication skills differ between individuals. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to successful communication with an autistic individual, but there are general autism communication tools that you might find helpful. You can learn more about the different types of autism in our blog post.
The word ‘autism’ comes from the Greek word ‘auto’, meaning ‘self’. By nature, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be self-absorbed, which limits their communication and social skills. This can include anything from struggling with empathy to difficulties developing language skills. This is why you may have a non-verbal child if they have ASD. Some individuals with ASD may have very advanced vocabularies and knowledge of specific subjects, while others may have trouble understanding tones, body language, and word meanings. This is why it’s important for autism communication strategies to be used to help those with ASD build their confidence and adopt a new set of skills in their own time, with a little encouragement from you.
4 Autism Communication Tools
Sound Boards for Speech and Language Development
Because individuals with ASD don’t always develop oral speech skills, some children with autism find they can communicate when they have picture boards or symbols. The IRiS Soundboard combines picture boards with interactive sound to help strengthen vocabulary and language development.
LED Fanlite for Speech Skills
The LED Fanlite demonstrates cause and effect in a way that’s accessible for individuals with ASD who struggle with cognition and speech. The fan lights up in color any time the user vocalizes, making it an interactive and rewarding tool for a non-verbal child. By rewarding the child with light and color, they feel in control and may be encouraged to vocalize when they ordinarily might feel shy or afraid to speak.
Bubble Tubes for Social Skills and Focus
Bubble tubes are soothing tools that children with ASD can find mesmerizing. By allowing the individual to sit in front of the bubble tube without distractions, they are strengthening their attention span and building up the ability to sit alongside another person during an activity by sharing the experience of the bubble tube. This primes the user to engage in activities with others in the future without becoming overwhelmed. You can find out more about the benefits of bubble tubes in our blog post.
Fiber Optics for Calming
Sometimes, individuals with ASD get too frustrated or overwhelmed to express themselves verbally or learn new words. But the gently changing colors of fiber optics help to create a calm and soothing atmosphere where children feel more relaxed and comfortable opening up and trying new skills, such as new words or conversational techniques.
As you develop autism communication strategies, you might find even more ways to integrate these autism communication tools in creative ways, tailored to the individual with whom you are working.