Any parents or carers of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will know that the condition can present in vastly different ways from person to person. For many people with ASD, however, communication can be a particularly challenging aspect. While some people can have high-functioning verbal skills, others may be entirely non-verbal or might produce repetitive speech patterns and use echolalia to express themselves. There are a few techniques and tips that can aid any parent or carer in effectively communicating with their family member and ensuring that their needs are met.
Technology is a useful aid
One of the advantages of the modern age is that more and more technological devices can be used and adapted to help people with communication barriers to effectively convey their thoughts and opinions. You can opt for a tablet device and choose one of the many communication apps that are available.
Some use spoken word technology and others are image based, so you can select the one that best suits the individual or give several options a whirl in order to discover what works best in your situation. These devices are ideal for use with workers from home care services who can easily adopt the same communication means that you use with your family member, which can provide you with peace of mind.
Opt for non-verbal language methods
In such a loud and busy world, it’s easy to forget that language isn’t just a spoken mechanism. If the individual that you care for is non-verbal, consider trying out a form of sign language. Many people are aware of Irish Sign Language (ISL), which is one option, but there are also numerous other programmes that might prove beneficial.
Lámh is the manual sign system used by children and adults with intellectual disability and communication needs in Ireland. Lámh was originally developed in the early 1980s in order to have a unified, standardised, Irish-based approach to signing for those with intellectual disabilities and communication needs. With Lámh, speech is always used with signs and only key words in a sentence are signed.
Take time out to rejuvenate yourself
Whether you’re caring for individuals with physical limitations or caring for adults with disabilities that affect them developmentally, it’s easy to get burned out and neglect your own health. Try to schedule some time to yourself that allows you to pursue your own interests or simply catch up on sleep with some respite care for carers.
At Caremark, we offer an array of home care services that can help you to do the important work of caring for another, while also maintaining your own well-being. Contact us today for more information or to ask any questions about our range of provisions.