Q&A session 8
Topic: Speaking Capabilities
and Eye Contact
Q: My son's name
is Max and he is 2 years old. He is suspected of having
Autism (they haven't diagnosed him with it). I would
like to know some methods to use to help his speaking
capabilities and also his eye contact (he seldom looks
you in the eye).
A: Ed, eye contact
and speech are often the main developmental challenges
a child with Autism has (social skills is also a big
one). Eye contact is vital because it means your child
is interacting and connecting with you. Also, the more
Max looks, the more he will learn.
Three quick and easy methods for getting eye contact:
- Position yourself at or below his eye level consistently.
It's less eye strain and easier to look at you this
- When you give him an object, hold it to your eyes,
so that he must reach out and grab it. You are right
there, behind the object!
- Whenever Max does look at you, celebrate him for
it! Tell him how much you appreciate him looking.
He may not know how special it is to you.
For speech, here are three things you can do:
- When he wants you to do something for him (get him
something from the shelf, tickle him, etc.), playfully
ask him to speak to get it. This way he has a reason
to speak. His motivation is the key here. You can
say, "If you want a tickle, say tickle". (P.S. if
you are asking, and he doesn't say tickle, still give
him the tickle after a few requests. We want to be
user-friendly and make being with us a desireable
- Make sure everyone is calling an object or action
by the same name. If I call it "drink" and you call
it "water" and mom calls it "cup" and a volunteer
calls it "sippie", then Max is trying to learn four
different words for the same thing. That's much more
confusing then if we all call it "drink".
- Be aware of how you speak. Many people run their
words together, or speak without enthusiasm. This
makes it harder for the child to understand what you
are saying (if you run the words together), or the
child may be less motivated to listen to your words
(if you are speaking without enthusiasm)
With both eye contact and speech, enjoy yourself as
you help him. Your sense of ease as you try to teach
these skills is the biggest piece of the puzzle. No
push, just enjoy being with him.
If you are interested in more methods for speech and
eye contact, we cover both of these subjects fully in
our week-long Son-Rise Program Start-Up. There's a link
on the left side of the page if you want to know more
about this program.
so many questions this time… thank you for sending them
For those of you who didn't get you're questions answered
(or those who have questions now), you can post your
question on the Son-Rise Message Board and the entire
Son-Rise internet community can help you out!
I hope everyone has a great winter! Enjoy your children.
Intro to Q&A Session
Capabilities and Eye Contact
Difference with The Son-Rise Program®
Hyperactive with Autistic Tendencies
Time in the