TIP: “Hold Your Horses” – Use Literal Language
When communicating and giving instructions to your child with Autism it is important to remember they tend to comprehend verbal messages literally. Most children with Autism have difficulty processing and understanding abstract language, sarcasm, and idioms. Because they are very literal in their understanding, your child may misunderstand your nonliteral phrases, regardless of how common they seem to be. For example, if you say “that’s a piece of cake” to let them know something will be an easy task, your child with Autism may assume that it is time for dessert. Or if you say “cut it out” to communicate that you want them to stop doing something, your child with Autism may start looking for scissors and paper. When giving an instruction make sure your language is specific and concise. Focus this week on being aware of the words and phrases you are using to direct your child. Before giving your next instruction, “hold your horses” and think literal!
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