I will admit it, before Autism I was a yeller. Not only was I a yeller – my entire family are ‘loud talkers’. We all seem to have odd, complicated hearing issues ranging from not being able to hear certain tones or decipher speech when the enunciation is less than stellar. Oh I could make excuses all day long, but the bottom line is that we are all passionate, loud, energetic talkers. And we LOVE to talk.
If you know anything about Autism
You know that just doesn’t fly
I get on the phone and the boy immediately gets agitated. I talk loud on the phone. I’m sorry son. When I am talking to others I can try all I want, but my voice slowly gets louder and louder – then the boy throws a toy in my direction and I know my voice is going right to his head. And it is painful.
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So today’s tip? I want to remind everyone that your voice has a profound effect on your child. Your tone, the energy in your voice, how quickly you speak and the volume. Sometimes we can forget that there is more to a voice then just the volume.
- When talking to your child, slow down if your child struggles to follow what you said. There could be a myriad of things going on and it is frequently a struggle to focus on you! Don’t do it in a demeaning way, your kid isn’t stupid. Processing different types of information can be difficult and it may take a few moments for your child to ‘catch’ the first thing you said; and you have already moved on to the next thing. My oldest was given strategies to help him process a little quicker and ways to ‘buy himself time’ while he sifts through the information to make sense of it.
- Get to the point. Don’t use flowery words with your child. Don’t go into this long explanation. Autistic people tend to like short, simple, concise directions. This goes for explanations too!
- If you are agitated and want to talk to someone and vent your frustration – do it away from your child or pay CLOSE attention to your child’s behavior for warning signs. At the first sign of sensory overload, anger, or frustration you have to stop and change YOUR attitude. We are all human and ‘feed’ off each other’s attitude. Many Autistic people have a heightened sense of this and it can affect them on a very deep level.
- Do not yell. Ever. Never. I do not care what happened. I don’t care I you must reprimand your child with Autism, another child, the dog, your spouse, the idiot football player who missed the tackle. Yelling is PAINFUL. Period.