As you may or may not know my son is non verbal, that is he doesn’t speak, he makes a lot of noise but he doesn’t use many words.
We are seeing him start to use more and more sounds and a lot of new words are there, so long as you aren’t asking him to say them, its like he has a mental block which means even if he can say the word when you ask him to he can’t do it.
Couple that with the fact that he can’t get his mouth to make the sounds that he needs and that he really doesn’t see why anyone would need to have a conversation anyway, he will only ever use language for something functional.
So a while a go with the help of his speech therapist we introduced him to PECs. For people that don’t know these are picture cards that can be used to create sentences to help children or adults who can’t speak to communicate.
When we first introduced them I expected that it might take a while for him to fully understand, but he took to is straight away, he immediately started using them to ask for things such as going to the loo, his milk and his favourite tea (meatballs).
It was like a light had come on and he could communicate in a way that he had never being able to before, his meltdowns from frustration of not being able to communicate with us just gradually went away.
People have often asked about teaching him sign language, the problem with that is that he doesn’t see the need to communicate, he doesn’t understand why he needs to learn to speak, there is no way that he would entertain the idea of using signs which are effectively another language.
As you can see from the picture we make our own symbols we use a free ap that we found online here
and a laminator, but the book we bought from the UK Pecs people
The book, and all the bits are sold separately or you can buy them as a pack. I am so glad that we bought these for him and that we have encouraged this as he is now trying to speak as he points to the pictures which is something that I never thought would happen.
If you have a non verbal child and this is offered to you as a possibility please consider it, I was hesitant at 1st but we are so glad that we did it, it has really helped him.