Posted in Activities, Autism


The girl I work with is nonverbal and doesn’t use her signs all the time, so to encourage her to use her signs we try to practice everyday that I spend with her. What I found to be most effective is using signs that directly relate to something going on in her life that day that she is aware of and that excite her. For example, she was going on a vacation the following week so we used that to practice the signs for airplane, trip, and grandma. I work it into the conversation we are having, “D, how are you getting to Hawaii?” Then I sign airplane and she will also sign airplane. Another tactic I use to encourage her to use her signs is before meals. She is very food motivated (as we all are honestly), so its very effective to ask her to sign something before she gets her food or gets more on her plate. She signs more, please, drink, pizza, juice, whatever we are eating at that time. Signing is very important for her because she doesn’t use her voice to communicate, so she knows that she can communicate with us if she uses her signs. Hope this helps someone else working with someone who may be non verbal and/or uses sign to communicate! 🙂


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