Communication Series: Introduction

This will be the first of a new series of posts that I will be starting on this blog.

I won’t change the name of the blog because the bulk of the content will still be book reviews, but I originally wanted to include a series on communication and a series on sensory processing when I first started, but held back to get the blog all set up and posting (semi)regularly.

I have worked with autistic children for a long time, I have a BSc in Psychology, I’m currently studying a Masters in Special Needs, I’ve gone on lots of training as part of my job, as you’ve probably gathered I’ve read a lot of autism books, and I’ve been autistic for as long as I’ve been on the planet. It seems a bit of a waste to keep all of that knowledge and experience inside my head, and to only post book reviews (although I still think the book reviewing is important).

This first series will be on Communication, and once I’m a few posts in I will start the second series on Sensory Processing. I don’t know if there will be a third series – that will be decided at a later date.

The reason I have chosen Communication to start with is two-fold: firstly I think that a functional means of communication is one of the most important things a teacher or parent can teach an autistic person, and secondly Augmented and Alternative Communication is a special interest of mine and my area of focus within the team I work in. If someone is non-verbal and does not have an alternative means of communication, then they can not effectively communicate to other people what they want, how they feel, share their interests, let anyone know if something is causing them pain, if sensory issues are bothering them, and they cannot establish any social contact that they personally want.

Parents are often told that their child’s self-injurious or other aggressive behaviour is a result of not being able to communicate, so they are then told to teach their children to communicate. The problem is knowing where to start with teaching communication. If your child is completely non-verbal and rarely seems to acknowledge the presence or existence of other people, then the methods will be vastly different to a child who is verbal but communicates through delayed-echolalia. I can’t promise answers to everything, but I will be posting as wide and varied as I can based on my knowledge and experience. I will also answer questions submitted to the best of my ability.

The following disclaimer will be posted in every one of the posts in this series, but you can see it here first:

Disclaimer: The opinions and information provided in this post are my own, and based on personal, educational, and work-based experience. They do not reflect the opinions of any of the authors of the content referenced in this post. I am not affiliated or supported by any organisation, and this is meant to be an educational series of posts. The information posted here is not a substitute for advice and information provided by your own GP, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist or other professional in the field of autism, and should not be taken as such.

I think that’s everything, the first post will be up tomorrow once I have finished editing it.

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

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