Strategies for Non-Verbal and Minimally Verbal Students

This issue of NASET’s Autism Spectrum Disorder series was written by Maeghan Johnson and will focus on strategies for non-verbal and minimally verbal students. Diagnosis of autism is rapidly increasing. Forty percent of those diagnosed with ASD are non-verbal. Those students and parents do not always have access to strategies available that can help ease frustration and increase communication skills. Visual supports, using pictures or objects as a replacement for activity or to enhance understanding of requested activity. The PECS system teaches children to use pictures and symbols in place of words to request items, answer questions and formulate simple sentences. Modeling can be done either by adults or most receptively by peers, as they learn to ask questions, answer appropriately and take turns to have a meaningful exchange.

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