Thought this was worth another look!
To communicate effectively with an autistic person – don’t use too many words.
I am a great waffler! In fact, I could get a medal waffling for my country. I love words, explaining things and even (now don’t be shocked) talking about the weather. I have been known to be a bit nosey, occasionally gossip (sorry) and even nag. But guess what? Effective communication is efficient communication.
1. Say what you mean. Mean what you say.
2. Keep it short and simple.
3. Say what you want, not what you don’t want
4. Don’t repeat things too quickly.
5. Use the person’s name first.
6. Leave clear pauses for the person to reply.
7. Be relaxed and stop rushing, we always seem to be in a rush don’t we?
I tried this out on my own kids when they were younger. You might recognise the scenario… It’s 7.55am. Everyone needs to be out of the house by 8.00am. Oldest child has yet to emerge from their room, youngest is still eating their toast. Mum goes into full nagging and panic mode,
“Have you made your lunch? Where’s your shoes? Have you got everything in your bag? Don’t forget to brush your teeth! And you’ll need your coat, it’s raining. Come on, you’ve only got 5 minutes. I said COME ON, GET A MOVE ON.”
Mum then runs to the bottom of the stairs,
“Oi, you’d better be out of bed, you’ve got 5 minutes………” (and repeats the entire tirade!
I hated getting to work stressed and minus something really important (usually my lunch) because I’d been nagging the kids so much, we’d barely got out of the house in one piece and in time.
The above points needed to be put in practice. They worked for the children I worked with so I tried them out on my own.
Now the morning went like this:
It’s 7.55am. Everyone needs to be out of the house by 8.00am. Oldest child has yet to emerge from their room, youngest is still eating their toast. Mum goes into calm and effective communication mode.
“Right, child eating toast. Finish your toast, then shoes, bag, teeth. Go!”
Mum goes to top of stairs, knocks on door of older child and says,
“Morning older child. In 5 minutes I’ll see you downstairs with your bag, shoes on and teeth clean.”
Mum retires to kitchen, picks up her lunch and finishes off her coffee.
At 8am the whole family is ready and out!
And believe it or not, with a bit of practice, this really worked.
What does effective communication look like in your house?