Strategies to Address Repeated Verbal Phrases

Does your child with special needs repeat verbal phrases or words?

In today’s Teacher Tips newsletter, learn about strategies which will help you address repeated verbal phrases with your child with special needs.

There may be a few reasons why your child repeats verbal phrases: to reduce anxiety, and possibly to gain attention and these reasons may overlap at times.

If there is to be a change or event occurring in your child’s day that is different than his/her typical routine, prepare a schedule (visual or written). Setting expectations and helping your child understand what will occur may help reduce anxiety. If your child begins the repetitive behavior, quietly and without addressing the repetition, point to the schedule for the day.

You may also find it helpful to use interruption and redirection as a strategy to address the repeated verbal phrase behavior. Ask your child a structured choice question to interrupt the repetitive phrase. Questions such as: “What would you like to do now while we wait, play a game on your iPad or read a story?” can be helpful to redirect your child’s attention and disrupt the repetitive behavior.

Do not under any of these strategies draw attention to the repetitive phrase behavior. It is possible that if you provide attention to this behavior, your child may want to continue this in the future.

Learn more about these strategies to address repeated verbal phrases in the YouTube video below or on the corresponding special education resource page. For more special education resources, visit Watson Life Resources.