I started seeing a child who is about 9 years old. He has autism and is also echolalic. I do not draw too much attention to the echolalia, but I see it as him regulating his behaviors. Usually, I can get him to comply with requests even though he is echolalic. I had to figure some things out because everyone kept saying that they've tried everything with him to get more expressive language, but nothing had worked. I finally decided to relax and try a few things. I had been stuck in the same predicament as you until I realized I needed to create a need or opportunities for him to communicate. I use a daily picture schedule with him just to get him through our therapy session. We also use an IPad-Proloquo2Go App,h-questions App, etc., written, and verbal cues. I use a dry erase board to write prompts for him as needed. Right now, I feel that a big difference is being made by creating a need for him to communicate. For example, I bring him to my room where I have already set the following items in motion: the door to the room is closed and locked, the lights are off and he knows he can't do anything unless he asks in a complete sentence.I had discovered earlier by accident that he loves Zhu Zhu pets and an electronic dog so he knows once he follows the routines, he may eventually get to make a choice to play with the mice or the electronic dog that he loves. I started hiding things around the room that I know he will want so he has to ask "Where is the ____?" He is beginning to use more and more sentences and expanding them in some cases on his own. At times, I am having to prompt him or give him written cues. I am not saying that I have solved the problems, but I think I am off to a good start at getting more verbal language. I have asked this child's shadow and his parents to create opportunities for him to speak as well. I think that if you find something that this child really likes, it can be used as an incentive to get him/her to work for you. I hope this helps.
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