Speech and Language Ideas
Helping your child retrieve a word
Some children on the autism spectrum may have difficulty retrieving the words that they want to use. This can impact their ability to communicate effectively for social and academic purposes. Sometimes the communication difficulty is due to a lack of knowledge. Exposing and educating your child on the word or concept can help them learn new vocabulary. Othertimes, it is a problem with retrieving or initiating the word. Here are some techniques for cuing your child to help retrieve words. These can be modified and used for any language level.
1. Modeling The Word
Saying the word and having your child repeat it provides your child with a direct model for the target vocabulary.
2. Providing a Semantic Cue
A semantic cue provides context clues to help your child retrieve a word. I like to think of this strategy as getting a running start! You can provide a sentence with the target word missing: I need to tie my ______ (shoes); Put the book on the _____ (shelf). You can give an opposite or synonym: It's not big, it's _____ (small); Another word for quick is _____ (fast). You can give clues about an object's appearance or function: You put it on a birthday cake and blow it out (candle); It has black and white stripes and looks like a horse (zebra).
3. Providing a Phonemic Cue
Providing a phonemic cue can help a child retrieve the word with just a little prompt. Provide the first sound of the word and wait.
Providing a Visual
Remember a visual cue, whether a picture or the actual object, is an effective way to support language use.
Contact Amber Becher with questions or for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.