Teaching social language is paramount, as pointed out by Dr Freeman, author of Teach Me Language, a language manual for children with autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental disorders. Eventually, we are hoping, through the intervention, the child is able to understand, internalize, and recall basic information which will effectively assist them to hold conversations with others.
This is a series of activities that I will be adding along the way once my child has master the the concept (objective/s) of the lesson.
Before a child can begin to be taught social language, they should have a ‘small receptive and or expressive vocabulary’ (p.6, 1997).
This means the child should
- be a visual learner
- be able to sit at a desk for at least five minutes
- be able to answer questions with one word responses or point to the picture symbol to answer a question.
- know a few (5 to 10) animals, basic shapes, and basic colours.
- know the numbers 1 to 10, and recognise the alphabet.
Before learning can take place, turn taking is an important skill that the child needs to master before the trainer can work on more advanced conversational skills. The following activity seeks to achieve this goal.
- Child to learn play related skills ‘Taking turns’
- Blank writing book
- Pegs and pegs board
- Instructed C that we will place all the pegs on the board.
- Wrote ‘Let’s take turns’ on the writing book.
- Explained to C that we need to learn to take turns when we are playing so that we can all play together with our friends (Note: used the same concept from Barker’s book)
- Wrote the key words on what we are going to do, ‘to keep’ and ‘we’ll close the egg’
- “C’s turn, take two pegs and keep it in the egg.”
- “Mummy’s turn, mummy will take three pegs and keep it in the egg.”
- Repeat the verbal cues and actions by changing the number of pegs (bold words)
- When done, close the egg.
For the second and third day, I varied the task by getting C to ask me for the specific number of coloured-pegs. I did the same (as shown in the page on the right) by asking him for it too.