Conversation Therapy In Daily Life
A question I am asked all the time is, "when will I be able to have a conversation with my child?" My answer is that you can have a conversation with them starting today. Merriam-Webster provides the following words as synonyms for conversation: dialogue, discourse, exchange. An exchange can take place verbally or nonverbally. It is often said that 93% of communication is nonverbal. This is where we can start with our loved ones that have difficulty with verbal language. We can start immediately. The first and most important step is to identify something that is of interest to your child. Then, participate in that interest. If your child loves to build trains, build trains together. Play peekaboo. Roll a ball back and forth. It becomes an interaction as soon as turn-taking takes place. In the beginning, you may have to facilitate the turns. Don't be discouraged. We all have to learn. If they are resistant to your facilitation, count a single turn as a success and gradually increase the number of turns over time. Celebrate the small successes and enjoy your time together. The key is the exchange which sets the foundation for conversation.
Lauren B. Norwood