How to motivate your child to talk
Created by Koyeli Sengupta Updated on Sep 21, 2020
Since communication and language are not adequately developed in many children on the autism spectrum, they are unable to engage in conversations and speak spontaneously. Dr. Koyeli Sengupta, a Developmental Pediatrician from UMMEED child development center, Mumbai reveals that many children are very dependent on prompts for them to speak. For instance if a child is asked questions such as 'what do you want?' or 'do you want that?' or 'what is this?', the child amy be able to answer appropriately. However in absence of such prompts, he may not be able to carry a conversation independently and adequately. According to Koyeli, it is important for us to teach our child to not just request or convey his need, but to report, to comment and to narrate. So for instance, if your child says that he wants a particular food, one response that you as a parent can give is ' wow, that is yummy, I too like it'. Hence this helps the child understand and inculcate different kinds of functions of communication. The child is then not limited to only prompts or when questioned. Children speak the most when they are fond of something, so that can be a good starting point to build a conversation. The child may not report what was done in school but may be more likely to talk about a song he learnt or a sport he enjoyed playing or a show he enjoyed watching. So encourage him by choosing what he likes to talk about and demonstrate different ways of building upon that conversation. Gradually the child will start engaging in such conversations independently and spontaneously.