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Using Nonverbal Communication To Support People Living With Autism

Communication is more than just talking. Nowadays, while cooperating with others, people frequently use non-verbal communication as opposed to verbal communication. They get more comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings to others through non-verbal means. The use of vocal language by technologies in the modern era of advancing innovation is a real example. Autistic children use nonverbal communication because they lack the ability to speak, which prevents them from using verbal communication too often. Autism demands a lot of love and patience to be raised. Communication quality may be impacted by a child’s impaired social interaction, a defining characteristic of an autistic spectrum condition(CDC). Kinesics is the study of non-verbal communication. The Greek term kinsis, which emphasizes movement, is where the name “kinesics” originates. Kinesics uses nonverbal cues, including posture, movement, and gaze, to communicate information and emotion(Bruss). Anthropologist Beam L. Birdwhistell officially defined the word kinesics in 1952. Only 30% of the material transferred during debate comes from stated words, according to Birdwhistell. Many things are handed on through non-linguistic body movements and facial expressions.

According to the Centers for disease control, autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability caused by contrasts in the brain. Some people with ASD exhibit a differentiation that has been likened to a genetic disorder. Individuals with ASD might act, communicate, cooperate, and advance in ways that are not the same as most others. Most of the time, nothing about their appearance separates them from others. The capacities of individuals with ASD can change fundamentally. For instance, certain individuals with ASD might have progressed communication abilities, while others might be nonverbal. Specific individuals with ASD need a great deal of help in their day-to-day routines; others can work and live with next to zero help. People living with Autism, especially those who are non-verbal, face unique challenges in their daily lives that require special consideration and understanding from those around them.

According to the most recent estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 1/100 children worldwide who have ASD; however, this statistic only accounts for the average across all nations and research. Most kids start talking their most memorable words in close to a half year, about a word or two, with communication both nonverbal and vocal. A young child exhibiting signs of mental instability may take longer to form their first words or struggle to speak clearly(Hamdan 579). Another one of the key negative effects is someone’s lack of interest in their hobbies and recreational activities. Whereas most children, when playing with a toy truck, for example, would push the vehicle about and try to accomplish what they normally observe. However, a child with Autism can focus on a specific component of the car rather than the whole thing to play with. A child’s need or desire for a daily routine, such as the requirement that they consume meals in accordance with a specified request, is another factor that might cause someone to believe their child suffers from mental instability.

Autism that affects verbal and nonverbal communication can have several effects, including lack of eye contact, odd stares, and speech patterns. Various non-verbal cues follow eye communication, and since eye contact lasts an average of three seconds, young children with autism spectrum disorders make less eye contact than their typical or mentally challenged peers do(CDC). People who have this problem are known to experience a wide range of social difficulties, including problems with sympathy, remembering one’s own feelings, sharing feelings, seeking solace from close friends, feeling overwhelmed in group settings, diverting the conversation during discussions, and maintaining a suitable distance between people(WHO). Compound irregularity is also related to restricted and sluggish motions, such as dynamic body developments like turning, sprinting, and flailing the arms. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s (2009) evaluation, 25% of those with ASD are nonverbal, meaning they do not communicate through voice.

Many autistic youngsters use aggression to make their points. This is particularly true for nonverbal youngsters who will never learn to say more than a few words. When a parent is trying to redirect a child’s conduct, they should not talk to them. Speaking aloud or raising your voice might disturb or confuse your kid, especially if they already struggle with language and communication.

Numerous strategies, such as social skills training, visual aids, and visual schedules., have been developed to help people who live with Autism manage these challenges. As a result, interventions may begin early, and parents and non-special education instructors can take courses on nonverbal communication that are informative and instructive(Hamdan 582).

An image or other visual aid that facilitates communication between a kid and others is known as visual support. By allowing children to completely express their emotions and frustrations and by assisting them in understanding social expectations, such as how to initiate a conversation, visual aids can help reduce violent behavior in children(Hamdan 583). Children can learn what is expected of them and the potential repercussions of breaking the rules via visual supports. Children that get visual behavior aids are more likely to recall how they should act, communicate, and build connections with others.

Furthermore, having expectations for their day’s events is beneficial for all autistic children. Visual timetables reduce anxiety and promote predictability since transitions (knowing what to do after one job or activity) are frequently the antecedent to difficult or violent behavior. Therefore, with pictures, sketches, or written lists, make a visual daily plan that starts with the first thing your kid should do in the morning and ends with the last thing they should do at night. For instance, you may provide a visual aid if your child has trouble fastening their shoes. Using alternative methods of communication is essential to communicate with autistic children((Hamdan 582). For instance, children with non-verbal Autism frequently discover they can convey their feelings via dance, drawing, or other hand gestures. See whether engaging in sensory activities like finger painting with them can help them express themselves.

Researchers claim that autistic children who are nonverbal can learn sign language in a manner similar to how ordinary children learn a vocal-verbal language. Evidence shows that autistic kids may mimic and acquire sign language by modeling, even without being explicitly taught. According to the American Speech-Language Association (ASHA), augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to all modes of expression (other than spoken speech) for ideas, needs, and wishes. AAC can be used to replace speech that is missing or unintentional, as well as to complement speech that already exists(Maria De Leon). Many autistic children have found learning and using sign language successful because it is visual-based, easy to learn, and offers a speedy means of communication, as per the American Signs and Language. A particular kind of assistive technology called augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can help persons with Autism of all ages by fostering independence, enhancing communication, and enhancing social relationships(Maria De Leon). A parent can identify a good AAC approach for their kid through speech therapy with an SLP and suggest activities to perform at home in between sessions.

Autistic individuals who are non-verbal can express themselves in various ways, such as through writing, painting, and gestures. They can also connect with others using tools like VOCA and The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) technology(Boston). Children with ASD typically do not learn on their own in their environments; thus, they require additional clues, direct instruction, and systematic teaching of new abilities. To learn new abilities, they need to be regularly taught and actively involved with their surroundings. DTT is one of several methods for promoting learning based on applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles(Hamdan 580). It entails a series of methodical, direct education techniques that are applied repeatedly until the youngster masters the ability. DTT focuses on breaking down abilities into their parts and units. Through several tries, each person learns their abilities using this strategy. One of the therapies and intense behavioral programs that proved successful was DTT.

April is Autism Acceptance Awareness Month. The acknowledgment enhances integration and connectivity for people with Autism and raises questions about how Autism should be recognized (CDC). Support from the local community and social networks can help people with Autism achieve optimal wellness and reach their full potential. For the purpose of illuminating initiatives and arrangements that support children with Autism and their families, the Center for Disease Control advances early detectable evidence and provides essential information on Autism.

Children with disabilities, especially those who are autistic, should not face prejudice or rejection because of their limitations. However, kids must be given more chances to engage and communicate non-verbally.

Works Cited

“Autism Research and Resources from CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Mar. 2023,

“Autism.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization,

Bolton, Julie. “M. Cl. Sc (SLP) Candidate University of Western Ontario: School of Communication Sciences and Disorders The following appraisal examined the evidence for increased verbal output in non-verbal children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) after engaging in the picture exchange communication system.” 2018.


Hamdan, Mohammed Akram. “Developing a Proposed Training Program Based on Discrete Trial Training (DTT) to Improve the Non-Verbal Communication Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).” International Journal of Special Education 33.3 2018: 579–591.

Maria De Leon, MS. “Benefits of Sign Language and Other Forms of AAC for Autism.” NAPA, 17 Oct. 2022,


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