- Listen and encourage
- Parents should form a united team and work together to help the child
- Parents should privately discuss the SM behaviours and create a plan they can both agree to.
- Educate others: this is not stubbornness or willfull behaviour on behalf of the child, as is commonly believed.
- Reward communicative behaviour (nodding, note writing, waving, etc..)
- Build upon the child's existing strengths (signing, reading, etc..)
- Know who and where the child communicates so you can build plans to expand the child's communications skills.
- Help the child build friendships one at a time
- When ready, introduce the use of audio and video taping
- Ask did you talk today?
- Criticize your child for not talking
- Pressure by demanding speech or trying to trick him or her into speech
- Forget to give as much attention to other children in the home
- Foster dependance. Instead find ways to help him or her communicate with others nonverbally
- Discuss the child and his or her problems in front of the child or with other children in the family
- Praise in public; this attention makes the child more self conscious
- Try to bribe the child to speak
Comments: Some of these things are helpfull. But others are a little harder to implement. What I find most challenging is not talking about it too much with your child. This is hard to do when your focus sometimes is on the issue and trying to find a solution and make progress. Secondly, not asking if my child spoke when I pick him up from school. This is very hard not to do, I know I don't do it every day, but it still is challenging to think about it!