Thursday, September 15, 2011

Have you "lost your voice" yet?

If you lost your voice for several days, could you and your child(ren) communicate actively and richly?

One of the most offered piece of advice from my own journey is "lose your voice". And not just to parents of kids w/ special needs.

Our kids with developmental delays and special needs often over-rely on words and "talk" and miss a lot of communication, because more of our interactions are NON-verbal than are verbal. When a child is not reading and responding to our non-verbal communication, we naturally tend to talk more to compensate.

The problem is that talking more does not give our kids more experience in non-verbaling. (Post about non-verbaling here.)

And they NEED experience non-verbaling. Not just reading (referencing) non-verbal communication. The "ing" in my made up term, "non-verbaling" implies doing something, too, an action, involves being an active participant responding, interacting.

If you've not watched the Pixar short "One Man Band" lately, take a look at it and count the number of verbal interactions vs the number of non-verbal interactions.

Take a peek at it. I found the video here.

How important is reciprocity and interaction without words? Did you make a discovery while watching that short? I did.

Do you need to "lose your voice" for a few days to give your child some experience in "non-verbaling"? You will probably find more shared attention. Kids have to reference us more when we are not providing non-stop narrative, prompts, and play-by-play.

And if you're reading this and you do not have a child with special needs, you still may find that "losing your voice" can be a powerful strategy. After we began decreasing "verbaling" and increasing "non-verbaling" with our child w/ autism, I tried it while shopping with the sibs. They were experts at nagging, whining, begging for toys or candy while we were out, and my verbal response seemed to communicate to them that I was willing to negotiate. When I began giving them a sad expression and a head shake, "no", I realized that I could stop their negotiation. What a discovery.

No comments:

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Created by OnePlusYou -

Stat Counter