This is the first step that I use with toddlers or young children who are not yet responding to others (or sending many messages.) Our goal here is to get more interaction. Introducing back and forth communication is vital. Paying attention to faces and sending messages by reaching, sound making or eye contact need to be developed. Before first words appear, toddlers need to be sending messages to you. Messages can be ;
- facial expressions
- pointing at things
- tapping you on the hand to get your attention
- calling out
- nodding or shaking head
- and much more!
Action songs and social games play an important role in language development. For late talkers, they help develop imitation skills and first words. For children with ASD, they are an integral part of therapy.