Autism spectrum disorder (ADS) can present symptoms in children as young as six months of age. Often these symptoms make both verbal and non-verbal communication difficult. While some children on the autism spectrum may not speak at all, others may have difficulty physically articulating language. Many children with ADS have trouble understanding body language and reading emotions through facial expressions, leading to feelings of isolation. This communication gap can be stressful and frustrating for both children with autism and their families. While many ABA materials and therapies support language learning, the Verbal Matrix® can provide convenient visual training for children with high-functioning autism.
Using the Verbal Matrix®
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most popular approaches in autism training and therapy. The system uses flexible approaches to understand behavior patterns and enforce positive change. Through modes of positive reinforcement, children are rewarded for successful skills growth. The Verbal Matrix® is an online database that provides images and videos for ABA language therapy. As a portable digital library, therapists, parents, and teachers can tailor training to a learner’s needs. The Verbal Matrix® is a modern upgrade on traditional flashcards which are easily lost, damaged, or become outdated.
The Verbal Matrix® provides easy to follow student-friendly libraries to help learners answer questions and build word associations to better understand the world around them. Through practice, learners’ intraverbal or verbal responses to others improve. This may be as simple as the correct response to “What sound does a cow make?” and grow into more complex responses of identifying emotions and verbalizing personal needs. Over time this practice increases speed, variety, and accuracy of response as children feel more confident in their ability to communicate.
Communication Tools for Children on the Spectrum
With ABA goals in mind, strengthening a child’s communication skills comes with practice and positive reinforcement. Keep the following in mind when building communication skills with young learners:
- Ignore irritating behavior. ABA works through ignoring irritating or “incorrect” behavior and rewarding positive behavior. This may including ignoring incorrect responses to questions or expressions.
- Be patient and persistent while allowing a reasonable time for children to learn new language skills at a pace aimed at success.
- Create rewards that fit your child’s interests. These rewards may be physical, activity-based, or screen-based. In-home charts that allow children to track their progress often lead to self-motivation and faster learning.
- Show interest in their learning. Through parents and caretakers expressing interest and mirroring learners, children are more likely to develop strong communication skills.
- Interact with your child’s learning. Through physical play, games, visual signs, and cues parents and caretakers can increase positive reinforcement learned through the Verbal Matrix®
Autism Software, Data Tracking, & Verbal Behavior
By tracking a child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills through programs like the Verbal Matrix®and in-home exercises, parents, therapists, educators, and caretakers can assess skill growth and develop their own strategies to communicate with children on the autism spectrum. aba|tools can be used alongside any data tracking software or techniques.
Register for aba|tools to Help Your Child with Language Skills
The aba|tools app provides parents, teachers, and therapists with applied behavioral analysis tools to meet their child’s needs from the comfort of home. Our digital language development content library serves parents, teachers, and therapists with clinician-developed tools to help meet each child’s language learning needs. Founded by a BCBA, aba|tools is a convenient, adaptable app focused on verbal behavior. To begin applied behavioral analysis therapy for non-verbal learners on the autism spectrum, register for aba|tools today.