Exercise 1 – For Parents and Professionals

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Model communication for your child.  That means using verbal (words and sentences) and nonverbal (gesture) language to describe what your child is doing, seeing and hearing. Talk about the things the child is paying attention to by commenting on, almost like a sports commentator. Model how language can be used for a variety of reasons, such as comments, gaining attention, requesting, protesting. Use simple language so that the child can understand what you say. Using too many words can make some children have difficulty understanding speech. 

a)When the child is drinking juice you can label the juice (point to the juice and say “juice”), describe what your child is doing (“You are drinking apple juice”) or describe how the juice tastes (“Apple juice is yummy”).

b)When the child is getting dressed, you can label each piece of clothing as you put it on (“shirt”), describe how it looks (“It’s a red shirt”) or how your child feels about it (“This is your favorite shirt”.)

    1. c) When your child is looking for his car, talk about what the child is thinking or wants (Shrug your shoulders and say “Where is my car?” or say “I want my piano”).
… you want to help the child learn new words, sentences or gestures.

Exercise 2 – For Parents and Professionals

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Expand the child’s communication by adding new words or appropriate grammar. 

Repeat your child’s speech while adding information. Repeat your child’s speech, but use appropriate grammar. Continue to respond to the child’s communication in a logical way. If the child is not yet making sounds, expand on the child’s gestures and model communication.

a)When your child says “train” you say “push train”.

b) When the child says “Push train.” you say “Push the train fast.”

c) When the child says “buh” you say “bubbles”. 

d) When the child says “Bay cry” you say “The baby is crying”.

d) When the child says “Daddy goed bye-bye” you say “Daddy went bye-bye”. 

e) When the child shows you a car you say “Yes, car.”

… you want to help the child expand the reasons and the ways he communicates, revise and complete the child’s speech, without directly correcting it.

Exercise 3 – For Parents and Professionals

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Set the stage in order to create opportunities for the child to initiate communication. Use Communicative Temptations.

This technique is easy to use during daily routine. Communicative Temptations are set up ahead of time, so that the child must seek others to access items and activities that he wants. 

a)Put things he enjoys in sight and out of reach so that the child can look for you and ask for help in order to access them. Put his favorite cars and animals on the shelves. He can see where you put them, but he can not reach them. Wait for him to initiate (he looks at you, points to the toys or  grabs your hand and takes you near the shelves). This is the moment when you model for him the appropriate language (“Car”, “I want the car”, “Give me the blue car, please”).

b)Give small portions. Providing only a small amount or portion of an item the child has requested can help him communicate for more. During snacks or meals, give him only one biscuit instead of the whole pack. Remain present and face to face, so that the child knows he can ask you for more. Wait for him to make a request (“I want more”, “Can I have one more please?”, “Two more”). 

c)Use items that require your assistance. Offer items or activities for which the child will need assistance. This can encourage the child to request help. Think about this: for what favorite items or activities does the child need assistance? Maybe things like juice boxes, wrapped treats, bubbles, balloons, spinning tops, chase or ball games. Wait for him to give it a try and if he goes not succeed on his own, leave space so that he can ask for help. 

d) Have an item missing. Leaving out a part or piece of a favorite activity can encourage the child to request the missing piece. The adult should show the missing piece to the child if he does not initiate the request. This strategy is especially effective for teaching the child to ask questions such as “Where is the missing item…?”.

… the child initiates very little or the child becomes frustrated when the adult interrupts his play. The strategy helps the child initiate and direct communication to others for a variety of reasons. It is useful for the children who are not seeking others when they want or need something.

Exercise 4 – For Parents and Professionals

Strategy Examples Use this when…
Use play prompts in your activities.

Focus on the child, follow his interests and his way of using the toys. In other words, join the child in play. Create opportunities to gain his attention in play (like using communicative temptation). Then prompt a new and more complex play skill. Once the child uses the new skill, the adult will give him access to reinforcement by letting him play the way he wants.

You can prompt the child in various ways.

a)Make a leading comment. Once the child is engaged in play, the adult can make a comment that can help cue the child to expand the complexity of his play. For example, after the child has already washed the baby for some time, but he keeps on doing this action over and over again, you can make a comment like “Baby looks hungry” and hold a bottle to encourage the child to feed the baby. After the child feeds the baby, you can let him play the way he wants.

b) Ask a question. This can be used to cue the child to expand the complexity of his play if he does not respond to the comments. In the baby example, you can ask a question like “The baby is clean now. What should the baby do now?”. 

c) Give a choice. The adult can give the child a choice between two new plat actions if the child has difficulty responding to an open-ended question like the one above. “Should the baby eat or sleep now?”

d) Use a verbal instruction. Children who have difficulty generating new ideas can benefit from a verbal instruction that tells them exactly what to do next. The instruction should be clear and action should be related to the child’s activity. “Feed the baby now.”

e) Model an action for the child to imitate. Providing a model of play means that you perform the exact action of play that your child must do. If the child does not imitate your actions, you can use physical guidance. If the child is imitating you, than let him play afterwards the way he wants to.

f) Here, the adult provides physical assistance to help the child feed the baby, for example. This type of prompt is used when the child is not responding to the less supportive prompts.

… you want to increase the complexity and variety of a child’s play. Play prompts can also be used to decrease the child’s reliance on prompts and increase independent play skills.