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Posted by G-ma Katie on June 17, 2000 at 20:29:29:

In Reply to: Seeking activity ideas for child with speech delay posted by Jake on June 17, 2000 at 15:21:01:

Dear Jake,
My grandson is what the doctor terms "high functioning" mildly autistic. He is somewhat verbal and his speech seems to be increasing. (He just turned 4.) We found it was best to get his attention after he has had physical activities - such as running, which he loves to do. To increase his eye contact, I would stand on the opposite side of the slide ladder and call his name as he climbed - following him up and down the ladder. (This was a great help.) Then, when we went inside after he was tired from running, we would give him something to drink, but try to make him ask for it. Keep repeating "Cold water" or ask him to say "I want a drink" repeating it. We always said it at least three times before we gave it to him. You can tell when he is getting frustrated. Then always tell him to say "Thank you" just as you would any other child. While he is drinking, try showing him several objects or toys and say what they are. Try the same ones each time. Always try for eye contact. Also, playful wrestling is good the doctor has told us. It makes him laugh and tires him a little. Also, try making lots or eye contact while doing this and make sounds like "Oh, you got me" or "WWWHHHEEE!!" Massaging his arms, legs and back is good also. Again, you are making contact. You can say things like "I have your toe", or "Rub your arm." saying the same thing each day. Hopefully he will start repeating what you say.

Also, try starting him on the wheat free, casein free diet now. The sooner the better. Good Luck.
G-ma Katie

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