Essential Ingredients to Maintaining a Successful Relationship: The ASD Edition

Autistic people are unique and interpret the world differently from other people. Their difference is most evident in their social interactions and ways of communication. Autistic people have their own language and implement systems that match them. If you are in contact with a child or adult who has been diagnosed with autism – ASD, it is important that you learn his / her language so that you can communicate with him and approach him in the right way.

In order to best address these problems of social interaction, it is necessary to clearly identify their nature. They have nothing to do with extreme timidity, nor are they the result of voluntary social withdrawal. The best way to understand is to observe the evolution of an adult completely.

communicate with autistic child

Photo Credit : autism.lovetoknow.com

  1. Talk To Him about His Interests.

Once you have discovered what interests the person, it will be much easier to engage in a conversation. If you talk about a topic that puts him at ease, the child or adult will open easily. To engage in a fluid conversation, it is essential that you find the “radio frequency” on which to communicate. For example, your son may be obsessed with cars and you can then use this topic to talk to him.

  1. Use Short Sentences.

If you are talking to a very young child or a child who does not fully understand spoken language, shorten your sentences. By using short sentences when talking to an autistic child, he will better understand the information. It all depends on the child. Some children with autism easily understand long sentences. Never be condescending and treat the child as if he were twice as young as he is. Some autistic children have difficulty understanding the speech. If this is the case for your child, try to communicate by writing messages, such as “we are going to eat now”. The child may respond in writing or verbally, once the visual communication has enabled him / her to understand the message.

  1. Communicate With Images.

Autistic people tend to think visually and the use of images will help you communicate with them. Try to draw diagrams, or simple drawings to communicate your ideas. The visual will help the child to clearly understand what you are trying to communicate through speech. Autistic children are more receptive to visual communication than oral communication.

  1. Allow Your Child Time To Comprehend The Information.

You may have to take more breaks in your conversation than when you talk to someone else. It is important that you give your child time to integrate the information he has just received. Be patient and do not hurry: let your child understand the information and respond to it at their own pace. If the child does not answer your first question, do not ask a second. You risk confusing it more. Keep in mind that this is a matter of comprehension and not of intelligence. Very intelligent people may find it hard to comprehend words. Do not think that your child does not have great intellectual abilities.

  1. Maintain Linguistic Regularity.

Whatever language you speak, there are different ways of phrasing the idea. And if each way tends to express the same thing, the words used will not be the same. Autistic children cannot associate these variants. Be sure to use the same words and variant to make your child understand. Regularity helps autistic children to progress. For example, if you’re at the table, you might ask to pass the dish of peas in 10 different ways. However, in the face of an autistic child, it is best to use a single and simple way. Know that it will be impossible for you to use the same words every time you say it. Do not worry if you do not use exactly the same phrase every time you express the same idea.

  1. Be Understanding And Do Not Avoid Your Child In Fear Of A Personal Attack.

Your child may not talk to you at all. Do your best not to take this as an insult. Approach your child in an understandable manner, respect his limits and make him understand that you are there for him. You will never know for sure why your child is silent. Perhaps it was not the right time to start a conversation, the environment was negative or the child was immersed in a daydream. Respecting your child’s feelings and limitations fundamentally is the best way to get him to open up to you.

  1. Begin Conversations With An Affirmation.

Autistic children do not always respond easily to questions such as “how are you?”. This may seem intimidating and beyond to them. Gathering thoughts in a sentence requires time for an autistic child. So, begin your sentence that will not stress them and that will not give them the impression of passing an exam.

  1. Do Not Ignore Them.

Sometimes your child might want to have a conversation with you, but may not be good at it. Be aware of his presence and get closer to him. Even if he does not answer, it is important that you make that effort. This will mean a lot for your child.

  1. Choose The Right Time To Talk To Your Child.

Choose a time when your child is calm to interact. If he is relaxed, your child will be more receptive to what you have to say. Also, choose a quiet environment because excessive stimulation could prevent your child from understanding what you are saying.

  1. Speak Literally.

Autistic children have trouble with understanding underlying meaning of conversations. They have a hard time understanding sarcasm, images and humor. Be sure to speak literally and accurately so that your child can understand you easily. You will be able to introduce the figurative discourse to your child when he is ready.

Furthermore, Support your autistic child in other areas of his life.  Get involved in your child’s treatments. Contact your child’s psychologist and do not forget to include it in these conversations when appropriate. It is important to understand that your child adapts the information in a different way and that you cannot expect him to communicate like everyone else. Do not let this fact become

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