LANGUAGE STRATEGY #3: EXPANDING
Expanding: This is simply repeating what your child has said and expanding on it through the addition of more complex or descriptive language. For example, if a child states, “red car” you can easily expand on this phrase by saying “Yes, the red car drives fast.” Expansion is a great language strategy to use, because you are using what the child is already interested in and motivated to communicate about as a teaching tool for providing more language. I love using this strategy when working with my kids with autism, because it lets them know that I have heard them, understood them and am responding. Especially with kids with limited verbal output, I find that difficult behaviors often stem from a sense that they are not being understood. I repeat and expand frequently when working with these kids. This way, they learn that if they attempt to communicate, they will have a reciprocal response.