Following initial assessments, B’s speech and language therapy will continue. In the meantime, their recommendations are summarised below:
- Say B’s name before starting to speak to him, and try and work out when he is listening before telling him something. He will not look at you, but it doesn’t mean he is not listening.
- Use short sentences, if B repeats back to you what he has been told (Echolalia) it means he has not understood what he has been told. Break the instruction down into a simpler sentence, or even simpler again until he understands.
- Use Visual clues or a visual timetable of a structure of the day to help him understand moving from one task to another.
- Use ‘Now__________/Then______________’ cards
- When he uses inappropriate phrases (‘have you had a nice Christmas?’), model what we think he is trying to say.
- When B is making ‘beatbox’ noise try and encourage him to engage with an activity he likes and hold his attention, to stop him. When he makes the noise it is reassuring to him and he is staying within his ‘own little world’.
- When B makes the ‘beatbox’ noise he finds it difficult to focus on language and instructions.
- B needs to learn ‘conversation skills’. When asked a question if he repeats it back (Echolalia) we need to break down the conversation, as he will think repetition is the way to have a conversation. He needs to be taught the way to question and answer.
- B approaches adults and speaks to them as he is comfortable with adults, children are too unpredictable and he cannot cope with the uncertainty of what they will say. He can be encouraged to speak to children during organised games with very small numbers, turn taking etc.
- To encourage B with sitting down, meals etc, give lots of praise and encouragement when he does sit. Let him wander when he wants to.
- To encourage B to broaden his interests away from the CD player, try and engage him with an activity he likes, and then broaden to something new.
- Try and discourage the CD player obsession when possible, but don’t allow B to become distressed.
- Don’t ask B to look directly at you, it will make him anxious. He will look at you and make eye contact when he wants to.
- When B is upset, talk to him about how he feels ‘B you are upset’ so he will understand the phrase relates to his feelings. Don’t ask him what’s the matter. He can’t tell you-that’s why he’s screaming. Comfort him and offer him something to do.