Best Practices for Communicating with Autistic Children for ECTS
When it comes to education and early years development for children who have a diagnosis of autism, simple techniques and strategies can be the most effective. In fact, we often overlook the basics because we tend to overcomplicate things when communicating with autistic children. In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the most basic techniques that are not only best practices for all children, but can be particularly helpful for autistic children. You can read about getting the environment and approach right here. Once these are in place and you are sure your classroom has the basics of inclusion in place these tips are your next step. For more tips for ECTs read this post.
Use the Child’s Name:
While it may seem obvious to use a child’s name when speaking to them, it’s important to consider how and when you use it. For example, if a child is in a room with a lot of sensory input, simply saying their name at the end of a sentence may not be enough for them to fully comprehend what is being said. By putting the child’s name at the beginning of an instruction, you can grab their attention and ensure that they are fully engaged with what you’re saying. Remember to address the child specifically, even in a group setting, to avoid confusion and ensure that they feel included.
Don’t Use Unnecessary Words:
We tend to use a lot of words when we don’t really need to. This can be confusing when communicating with autistic children, who may have difficulty processing language. By using concise language and avoiding unnecessary words, you can make it easier for the child to understand what you’re saying. This means using short sentences and avoiding complex language that may be difficult for the child to process.
Use Visual Aids:
Visual aids can be incredibly helpful for children on the autism spectrum, who may be more visual learners. This can include pictures, diagrams, and other visual aids that help to illustrate concepts and ideas. By using visual aids, you can make it easier for the child to understand what you’re saying and ensure that they are fully engaged with the material.
Use Concrete Language:
Children with a diagnosis of autism may have difficulty understanding abstract concepts, so it’s important to use concrete language when communicating. This means using language that is specific and easy to understand, rather than using abstract concepts or complex language that may be difficult for the child to process.
Use Positive Language:
Finally, it’s important to use positive language when communicating with autistic children. This means focusing on what the child can do, rather than what they can’t do. By using positive language, you can help to build the child’s self-esteem and make it easier for them to engage with the material.
This post was written to align with the DfE’s national strategy for autistic children, young people, and adults 2021-2026.