Date
19 February 2019

Support communication using recommended approaches

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Supporting communication, social interaction, thinking, and positive behaviour’

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Identify possible challenges

Identify possible challenges

For students with ASD, understanding other people can be more challenging than communicating needs, preferences, and ideas.

Students with ASD:

  • often develop language later than their peers
  • often have atypical ways of making themselves understood
  • sometimes use language in unexpected ways
  • may have difficulty understanding others
  • may have difficulty understanding abstract language
  • may not understand gestures, facial expressions, or body language.

Use emoticons

Use emoticons

Reading facial expressions can be confusing for students with ASD. In online contexts support understanding using emoticons.

Use clear, predictable language

Use clear, predictable language

Refine your communication approaches to support understanding and reduce anxiety.
  • Use fewer words.
  • Slow down the rate of speaking.
  • Give students more time to process the information.
  • Use clear, concise, visual information in the form of written language, with images.
  • Develop a communication system using pictures, signs, words and symbols for those students who are not able to use verbal language or as a quicker way to communicate when they are upset or frustrated.
  • Utilise digital tools such as tablets and phones to explore a range of visual communication tools that support classroom routines and give advance warning about changes.

Ask students what works for them

Ask students what works for them

Ask students what communication approaches they prefer.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Key areas to support”:

Return to the guide “ASD and learning”

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