Bringing 7 year old YANA home on July 4th was my first real encounter with a non verbal older child. Developmentally she is about 1-2 years old, but as of yet has few if any sounds besides growling and spitting :). As the days went by I started to find myself frustrated at her lack of communication. Even an infant seemed more purposeful in their interactions. But soon I started to notice little things she did, she WAS trying to communicate with me, I just did not yet know her language! I love the following article, as it offers a number of common sense tips to get the communication flowing between you and your non verbal child.
For the non-verbal child, all the rules of floor time still apply: Give 20 - 30 minutes of your undivided attention, several times per day. Build on the child's favorite behaviors. You are going to let your son or daughter select the activity through natural preferences. That includes fiddling with twigs, hand-flapping, staring into space, slamming doors, or whatever the activity may be, no matter how strange. This activity is comforting to your child, and it's the thing that will best motivate her. However, you should have lots of toys or activities handy so that your child may have the option to choose different things. If she drops her book and picks up a doll, you're going to follow that lead.
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