When it comes to encouraging communication with children on the autism spectrum, it's important to consider all of your options and strive to reach them where they are. For example, one of the things that you may discover with your child's ABA therapist is that the use of technology is often an encouragement. If you've been talking with your child's therapist about investing in a tablet to help encourage greater communication, here are a few tips to help you make the introduction a successful one:
Use Something Familiar For The Introduction
If you want to encourage your child to consider the tablet, you'll need to catch their attention right from the start. The best way to do this is by using something that they are not only familiar with, but enjoy. For kids on the spectrum, linking anything to their interests will make them more likely to accept it.
For example, if your child enjoys going for walks, show him or her how they can use the tablet to ask you to go for a walk instead of just bringing you shoes and leaving you wondering what they want. If your child likes YouTube videos, show them how they can find them on the tablet when they have their video time. Connecting the tablet to something they value will encourage them to give it a try.
Incorporate It Into The Routine
Kids on the spectrum are often highly driven by their routines. Another great way to encourage your child to accept the addition of the tablet for communication is by incorporating it into that routine. For example, if your child knows that right after breakfast time they get to watch the videos they enjoy, make a point to pause after breakfast. When you see the question in their eyes about why video time hasn't started, use the tablet to show him or her how to ask you for what they want. The more you can connect it to what they're used to, the more likely they will be to use it going forward.
Provide Some Fun Time
Remember that ABA therapy also reinforces the benefits of rewards. To maximize this with your child, incorporate fun time using the tablet as well. Show them how to draw faces or find a game that they will like, then program the tablet to allow them this app or game for a certain amount of time each day. This will provide a more positive outlook on the tablet so that it isn't just a tool, but something to enjoy as well.
Contact a company like Eyas Landing for more information and assistance.