Why would a child speak to us?

We want to understand how to get Nathan (or any child with autism) to speak to us. But it’s just as important to understand what are the prerequisites before a child chooses to engage and speak to us:
– The child must be comfortable with us and feel that we are friendly and approachable. 

– The child must feel that when he attempts to use his words, we can understand him or at least be doing our very best to understand him, no matter what level his speech is at.

– We must be exciting to talk to. Like, why else would kids hang out and talk for hours with their friends?

The other day, Nathan asked his Son-Rise volunteer, Tita Yang, to get his toy. She quickly identified which toy he wanted and passed it to him. That lit up his face almost as if saying “Yes! She understands me!” And he engaged with strong eye-contact after that point.

In the photo: Nathan and exciting Tita Yang.