Involvement of family members – communication

Communication and language

What is the role of the parents when the child is involved in an ABA therapy program?

In ABA therapy there are programs designed for an array of symptoms for autistic children.
Communication language and literacy development programs (CLLD), social skills programs, cognitive skills enhancement programs (CSEP), play therapy, programs for motor skill deficiencies, self-sufficiency programs, as well programs regarding defiant/rebellious, inappropriate behavior and efficient means to intervene in such cases.
Which of these programs is the responsibility of the therapists? All (more or less)

Which of these programs is the responsibility of the parents? All (also, more or less)

None of the programs are efficient if the child does not exercise his/her abilities acquired during the therapy, within their families, on the street, at shopping, in the park, at the playground. However, there are programs which specially fall within the responsibility of the parents, parents who will have to be instructed to know how to implement them. These programs are particularly the following:

- regarding self-sufficiency/self help skills; getting dressed/putting on shoes and socks, table manners, learning to use the toilet, personal hygiene

- communication and language
- socialization

Communication and language

Receptive language:

It refers to what the child can do, what s/he can show. The child must be asked to do what s/he has learned at the therapy program, following instructions: Give me that … from the floor!, Put that ... away!, Throw it in the trash!, Put all the dirty clothes in the basket!, Give me the car/ the spoon/ the pencil!, Put on your shoes!

Any notion or object learned must be introduced into different instructions and, thus, its use to be generalised. It is recommended that any instruction to be exploited. After the child learns, for example, the spatial positions, the family must offer him/her the opportunity to, actually, use these notions, and to involve the child into various activities, asking him/her to: ''put on the book'', or ''under the table'', or ''beside the bed'' different objects. Receptive language means understanding language, which must be stimulated and improved continuously.
It is recommended that the parent should ask the child to use the best form of expression s/he has, whether it is verbal, or PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), signs, gestures .It is useful that the parents to have a list with those words the child has learned at the therapy program, or spontaneously, and to seek occasion in which the child can use them. After the child was taught at the therapy program to ask for ''juice'' , or even ''give juice'' this should me the only acceptable way to ask for juice, and words like ''aaaaaaaa'' to not be accepted anymore, or any other approximative form.

When the child is able to speak in sentences and phrases, the expectations and the requirements must meet this level of development.

When the child has learned, for instance, verbs, and to answer at questions like: ''What is x doing?'' it is advisable that the family to continue the work of the therapists and to offer the child the opportunity to answer questions of this kind.

If the child has learned to communicate through pictures, give him/her the opportunity to do so. It is extraordinary for the child to give a picture with a banana, and those around him/her to understand that he/she wants a banana. Not using these pictures in his/her free time, it is like shutting the child's mouth up. A velcro band, and the pictures can be put in the dining room, or in the kitchen, where the family is spending their time most time, so that the child to be ready to use them when s/he needs it.

When we mean communication, we must have in view also the eye contact with the person with whom we communicate, answering to name, and the acceptable distance between the two persons. When the child answers a question, or asks a question, it is necessary to make eye contact with the communication partner.