Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do's and Don'ts For Parents

  • 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

By Dr. Lynn Lunceford, Clinical Psychologist

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!

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