How can I Communicate with a Student with Autism Who Does Not See the Need to Express His Thoughts?

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HowcanICommunicatewithaStudentwithAutismWhoDoesNotSeetheNeedtoExpressHisThoughtsThe development of communication and understanding of self, has been described in the theory of mind. In the third level, a person with autism realizes that they need to ask to know what others are thinking. Such as “Mama, what are we having for dinner?” But they often still think that others can “read” their minds and know what they have done or what they are thinking. They might also believe that Grandpa knows what they were doing before he comes to visit.

People on the spectrum at this level of mind sharing may not tell others what they need or want without encouragement. They will often point and can share attention when looking at a book or toy. They need prompting to think of what another might need or want. At this level, people with autism can’t lie or deceive. At this level of mind sharing, the student can ask and answer questions about who, what, where, and when. Later, the student can begin to ask and even later answer why and how questions.

Some students with autism, regardless of their age, are at this level of development in their Theory of Mind.

You may engage a student with autism at this level in conversations. Make cards with the words: “Who?” “Did what?” “Where?” and “When?” written on them. Using one card at a time, at first with written sentences and later with verbal sentences, ask, “Who spoke?” “What did the dog do?” “Where did Jack and Jill go?” “When does the sun rise?”

When a student draws a picture or does any artwork, ask them questions about what it is, what the people are doing etc. Similarly, provide opportunities where the student narrates an experience to another person. For example, telling another teacher about the field trip.

Ask the student a question like “ What did you eat for breakfast” and after they have answered, prompt them to ask you the same question. Then, answer the question.

All these strategies will help the child realize the need to communicate, and will help him to express his thoughts easily.

Discus hereHow did you overcome obstacles that you faced in communicating with students with autism?

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One Response to “How can I Communicate with a Student with Autism Who Does Not See the Need to Express His Thoughts?”
  1. Greg Bail says:

    Picture cards of routine classroom tasks can be helpful, and for common instructions.

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