Language traps

Language traps

So you have a child with autism and you’re kind of lost? Don’t worry, all of us are. However, there are some tips for maintaining a better communication with your child. Most of them refer to language traps that we’re used to: idioms, sarcasm, lack of clarification of the statement…

Idioms and sarcasm generally are out of question until the child reaches the age where they are able to recognise the existence of such things in the language. For now always try to express yourself very clearly and make sure your statements always have a clear idea. To make sure you’re understood well, you also may ask your child to tell you what you’ve just said with their own words. It’s not only a great language exercise, but also makes sure that your child won’t just repeat the sentence without really understanding it — autistic children do have tendencies to do things like that.

You may also try teaching your child a sign language, since it could be also a good way to have a clear communication. In the case of emergency your child may just wave several fingers forming a certain mark rather than be quiet or be not sure how to express their needs. Sometimes the sign language is really better to express most things, especially if your child learns to show you the sign that says “I’m going to have a meltdown”…

Anyway, just don’t make your child second guess because at the early age they are not really good at guessing what exactly you meant. If you want them to clean their room, tell them straight away about that. “Your room seems to be a bit messy, could you clean it up?” surely sounds better than “Your room is so messy” that in theory is supposed to hint that we want the room cleaned but in reality it will be just a statement of fact for your child.


  1. I remember when I was told by my mom that nobody knows where we live, I totally thought we were in kind of secret place that is never shown on the map.

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