The Hope Source
nonverbal_games

Game Time! 

This is a revisit of a Facebook post we made way back in 2013 but it’s a good one!

Try these fun, nonverbal games/activities with your family to practice and strengthen your child’s ability to “read” others’ nonverbal cues and communication:

Charades: try acting out different emotions to help your child interpret your body language, facial expressions, and gestures.

Name that Face: you could practice the skill of interpreting others’ facial expressions in a variety of ways.

Peek-a-Boo with a twist: Hide your face and reveal a different expression, giving your child time to process and label the emotion being expressed.

Facial Expression Sort: Have a pictorial collection of faces expressing a wide range of emotions (magazine clippings would work great) and sort through the faces, categorizing them by the emotion expressed.

Mirror Me: Use a mirror so both you and your child can see your faces. Take turns making a facial expressions that the partner practices matching.

Family Feelings: Take pictures of each of your family members expressing several different emotions. Print off the pictures and create collages or posters for each emotion. To extend the activity further, list different scenarios in daily life that make you feel that emotion.

Have fun! We’d love to hear about your experience so comment below!

By Julie Brant Gordon

One of the biggest challenges in modern day parenting is just having a moment – a moment to truly be present without thinking about everything on your plate. Then, add Autism.

In the last 16 years in this field, the most important thing that I have learned is there is so much power in 10 minutes. You can set aside 10 minutes each day for togetherness. There isn’t pressure in 10 minutes, like there is in 30 minutes.

  1. Pick a good time. Try to find a time that isn’t too stressful. Do not choose 10 minutes before you have to leave to be somewhere.
  2. Put away your phone, turn off the TV.
  3. Pick a chore. Choose a simple chore that you don’t care about getting done right. Setting the table, folding socks, sorting mail, stirring the sauce, etc.
  4. Or don’t pick a chore! Take a walk, lie on the grass and just be. (This is the harder of the two).
  5. Go nonverbal! Try to limit how much you are talking or filling the space. Use gestures and expression to communicate. This will make the 10 minutes calm and slow it down.
  6. When the 10 minutes is over, share the experience with a simple recap. “I enjoyed stirring the sauce together.”

You will be surprised the impact of just 10 minutes of togetherness on the parent-child relationship. Try it each day.  Learn something new. Don’t worry about getting something done or being entertainment. Most importantly – enjoy!

Need more strategies? Learn more about our parent consultation services!

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