Do autistic kids who do not speak communicate?  The thinking is that if we don’t see them speak then they probably don’t have the ability to communicate.

Because what we see tells us everything? Right? We should judge a book by its cover, is that not correct?  No It Is not as our experience tells us as we live life more.

The Autism conference by Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs that I attended last week was on the topic of Communication in Autism.  One of the amazing presentations was on the topic of Spelling in Autism. 


autism nonverbal communication

Nonverbal Does Not Mean Not Smart

One of the beliefs that we all have when dealing with autism is that if we see someone move clumsily then obviously they have a problem with their brain.  And probably they have an intellectual disability.

But when someone is clumsy they have a problem with moving their muscles.  They may NOT have a problem with their mind. Muscle Incoordination is NOT a Mind problem.

Nonverbal Communication Technique for Autism

So the mother of an autistic child in San Diego co-created a communication technique for autism. They used a board with the alphabet on it so that kids could be taught how to express their thoughts by spelling them out.

The technique is called “The Speller’s Method”.  One of the highlights of the conference was having a panel of autistic kids who are nonverbal communicate with the conference attendees about their experiences.

They spoke about how they had stomach pain growing up because they were eating food that they reacted to.  But they couldn’t tell anyone as they couldn’t speak and had no way to tell their parents what was going on. Imagine a child being in pain with no way to tell the ones they love what is going on. 

How to Talk to Autistic Children

So next time you see an autistic child, look past their uncoordinated body movements.  Realize that there is thinking and  feeling person inside that body.

Talk to them not around them. The speaker at the conference had a good point to make.  When we see  babies, we talk to babies even though we know they do not understand what we are saying. 

We should do for autistic kids what we do for babies 🙂

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Dr. Richard Chen

To your health!

Dr. Richard Chen
Focused Wellness Author,
A New Way to Health: Wheel of Health
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