During a recent trip to the local zoo to focus on the generalization of skills with two 6 year-olds, I asked my companions to figure out where the restrooms were located. They were equipped with a map, binoculars, and were in close proximity to our target location. While I assisted them in identifying landmarks, utilizing the preposition words/phrases next to, in front of, and behind, and recognizing symbols on a map, I noticed another patron staring perplexly at us and at the restrooms, which we were now directly in front of. The helpful woman gasped, and in her most shocked voice exclaimed, “The restrooms are right here!” At which point I thanked the benevolent patron, and proceeded to conclude our excursion by employing language expansion techniques (expanding a child’s utterance when speaking with that child, utilizing adult grammar without adding new information). Upon relaying the experience to the children’s mothers, we all had a good laugh. At which point I realized, there is not a day that goes by when I am not acting in a silly, disbelieving, impenetrable manner to facilitate communication; which I am proud to say always works like a charm.
A Few of Tanya’s Techniques to Encourage Communication (please note that not all techniques are appropriate for every child):
-change up a stable routine
-use an item/wear an article of clothing in an incorrect manner
-play with a toy in a way it’s not intended to be used
-narrate your way through everyday routines