Children with autism have difficulty understanding body language, which is an essential social skill for communicating desires and feelings. Without knowing how to express themselves with body language, it can be very frustrating for the child, parent, sibling, or caregiver. Teaching body language for children with autism can help ease their frustrations and build their confidence. A speech therapy program for children with autism can help your child with autism learn these vital skills.
At Camp Worth, we help frustrated teens aged 11-17 learn about body language and non-verbal communication through speech therapy, social skills training, and functional skills training programs. If your child with autism is struggling with understanding body language and other non-verbal communication, fill out our online form or call 855.915.2545 today to learn more about our speech therapy program for children with autism.
Why Is Body Language Important for Children with Autism?
A child with autism may not understand the subtle nuances of body language and can act out in frustration when they feel ignored or misunderstood. Studies suggest that children with autism are able to pick up on body language, but they cannot associate the feeling with the movement, such as telling if someone is happy or sad by looking at their face.
This disconnect may come from the fact that some children living with autism will be hyper-focused on one movement or gesture, like hand movements or gestures. Others struggle to make eye contact with unfamiliar people and miss out on other movements that convey feelings or emotions. The frustration they feel in not understanding what others are saying and not feeling included can lead to negative behavior and temper tantrums.
At Camp Worth, our goal is to help children with autism learn body language and other vital skills to support their development. If you feel you need more support to help your child with autism, we can help.
Helping Children with Autism Learn Body Language
When teaching your child with autism about body language, you do not want to overwhelm them with too much. Let them set the pace of learning within reason and be attentive to what works best for your child. Repetition is key, and the more you practice with them daily, the more confident they will become in their abilities.
Visual clues like posters and play cards can help teach children with autism what feelings and emotions go with the different types of body language.
Use drawings or photos of different facial expressions and mimic the expression along with the name of the emotion, like happy, sad, or angry. Have your child mimic your expression and repeat your words. Make a game out of it and have fun.
Only teach one emotion or facial expression at a time to avoid overwhelming them. After they pick up on two or three different expressions, combine them and practice picking the emotion based on the expression you are making.
Practice other body languages by having your child mimic your actions, such as:
- Folding arms
- Looking around the room
- Holding your hand out for a handshake
- Clapping your hands
- Tapping your foot to some music
While teaching body language for children with autism, remember to reward their successes and not become frustrated when they are not paying attention. Through repeated efforts, your hard work will pay off and help develop your child’s verbal and non-verbal communication.
Learn More About Teaching Body Language for Children with Autism at Camp Worth
At Camp Worth, we help teens aged 11-17 with body language and other non-verbal communication skills to help develop and improve their quality of life at home. Our programs can also help you and your family understand autism spectrum disorder and all that is needed for their development. Through our full-service autism programs, we provide vital skills training so your child can live a healthy and happy life. Call 855.915.2545 or complete our online form today to learn more about teaching body language for children with autism.