When we were in Bangalore recently, our visits to NIMHANS and COMMDEALL taught us a great deal on the communication aspect. The guidelines given to us were based on our son’s age and ability.
· TALK, Talk, Talk…………Talk as much as you can. For instance go beyond telling this is cricket and there are two teams. Go a step ahead tell him this is IPL, it is a 20-20 game, the match is telecast live….Otherwise his learning process would get very badly affected. The bottom line is to treat him as an older boy.
· It is very important to teach our kids verbs and not just nouns. Flash card learning (pointing to the correct action words on the flash card) alone does not help. Generalize a lot.
· Make him request, label things.
· Play small games such as I name a fruit, you name one. Lets us label and point to all the objects, people in a given room or house.
· Be very firm with a NO. Draw clear boundaries and communicate to him what is not permissible.
· Teach rhymes with actions.
· Let the child be thorough with the Yes/no concept. For instance you put a question to him. Is this a pen? He says no. End the question with that. Do not elaborate further as to this is an eraser.
· Use reasoning with your child to explain situations and avoid a meltdown.
· Move on from first, second to three step commands.
· Introduce the concept of delayed reinforcement. He finishes 3/5 activities and he gets his reward.
· Remember to associate gestures and exclamations with remarks such as wah-wah for crying, oh –oh, ouch……
· Sequencing of activities involving an event such as making a salad, sandwich, tea…..
· Work on following a melody pattern.
· Working on oromotor movements, COMMDEALL has an oromotor kit. Start with simple CV (consonant-vowel) combinations.
· Try and make opportunities where the siblings can be involved.