Communicating with others is not always easy for a child who is diagnosed with autism. Some children may be able to communicate but may have difficulty understanding what the other person is saying while others, may not develop communication skills at all. The level of their communication skills varies depending on the child’s ability.
To address this issue, communication tools and aids are highly recommended by Speech Language Pathologists. Some of these tools include gestures, communication boards, and Speech Generating Devices (SGDs). Using these tools will not only allow your child to express their feelings, thoughts, and needs but it will also help them understand better without much frustration.
Speech Generating Devices (SGDs) are portable devices which allows you to program vocabularies for your child. You can choose from different types of SGDs to fit your child’s age and communication level. This device has a display screen which shows pictures and symbols and when the child touches one of them, it will prompt the device to say what the child wanted to say. For example, if he touches a picture of an apple, the device might say, “I want an apple.”
To make it easier for your child to know which button he needs to press when he wants to say something, you can program certain choices to go under one button. You can also expand your child’s limited vocabulary by including verbs and exclamations. In addition, you can also change the SGD’s voice to male or female and you can even use your own voice by recording yourself.
The SGDs are really useful as it helps your child socialize and ask for the things they want both at home and at school. Introduce a new words to your child when you’re reading him a book or playing with him and if your child comes across a new picture or symbol, tell your child what it means.
If your child has difficulty using the device, be patient and keep on practicing using the device with him. Over time, he will become more comfortable with the device and will want to use it regularly. Make sure that the SGD is with him at all times so that when a situation requires interaction, your child will be able to communicate.