Teaching Child Communication Skills

Preparing for Visitors
Situation: 

I am going to visit my non-verbal, six year old grandson. I only see him once a year in his “space” but he knows me from Skype. I always try to approach him gently until he acknowledges me. What are some tips on making this process easier for him? I only have one week with him and want to love him to pieces while I’m there.

Consequence Flow Chart
Situation: 

I have a student in my class who becomes upset over the smallest problem at recess. He’ll cry or throw things when something doesn’t go his way on the playground. The other kids have obviously noticed this and are starting to stay away from him. How do I help him understand that what he says and does directly affects his relationship with others?

Strategies for Receptive Language Challenges
Situation: 

My son has issues with receptive speech. When I tell him something, like this morning I was trying to tell him we would have cheerios for breakfast and eggs for lunch, all he could hear was he wasn’t getting cheerios right now. I kept repeating “we will have cheerios and then eggs after” but he still was not hearing me and continued to cry and scream. I then put him on the table at eye-level and validated him by saying “I will get you cheerios” but I couldn’t explain to him that we would have eggs after. My son will be 4 in May and this is probably the most frustrating thing we deal with on a daily basis…

Behavior Story: Restaurant
Situation: 

My child has a very difficult time going to family-style restaurants. In particular, he has difficulty sitting and waiting quietly, eating neatly, and interacting with the waiter or waitress. How can I help my child learn to be more appropriate in this setting?

Question Jar
Situation: 

I am a regular education science teacher that has a student with autism in my class. He communicates very little and will not participate in most class activities. I’m looking for some ideas of how to get him to participate more meaningfully in class routines.

Classroom Coping Skills
Situation: 

Every year I have 1 or 2 students in my class who can become very upset about different situations. They may hit, cry, yell, or sometimes run out of the room. What can I do to help them stay in control before resorting to these behaviors?

Communication Any Way
Situation: 

I have a student who uses a communication book. At times he will just point to an item on the snack table instead of using his book in response to a question. Sometimes he will indicate yes or no with a headshake instead of using his book. We keep prompting but then he becomes frustrated and displays other behaviors such as throwing materials or yelling. How can we increase his communication book usage?

Teaching Requesting – Early Mand Training
Situation: 

I have a new student who has extremely limited communication skills and many challenging behaviors. He can imitate some sounds and words but does not use them functionally. He will hit, scream, or scratch to get something he wants or to get out of something that he doesn’t want to do. Also, when he wants something he will just go and get it on his own. His parents report the same behaviors at home and that they often give him whatever he wants just to stop the screaming.

Perspective-Taking Visual
Situation: 

I have a student who tends to make comments to classmates and teachers that result in hurt feelings, confusion, and ultimately avoidance (i.e. “Your shirt is ugly”, “This is stupid”, etc.) He seems to want to make friends and be liked by his teachers and classmates but these comments are really bothering the people around him. How can I help this student understand how his behavior affects others?

School Pen Pals: A Fun Way to Ease Transition to Middle School
Situation: 

I’m a special education teacher and a few of my 5th grade students are getting nervous about moving to the Middle School in the fall.  We always visit the new school towards the end of the year, but I don’t think it’s enough to calm their anxiety.  Any ideas to help make the transition smoother?