Megan Reynolds, MS, CCC-SLP
Megan Reynolds, MS, CCC-SLP, treats many conditions, but one challenge she enjoys is teaching pragmatic language to children who have trouble with social communication.
“Children on the spectrum often have difficulty making conversation and staying on topic,” says Megan. “The goal of pragmatic language is to promote social interaction in a variety of ways. We work on a lot of different structures to improve social communication and build relationships. Every child is different and should be allowed different ways of communicating.”
Social communication includes three components:
Using language for greeting, information, requests and so on.
Changing language to fit the situation, such as talking differently in a classroom than at home, talking differently to children than to adults.
Following the rules of conversation, taking turns, staying on topic, understanding and using body language to convey feelings. It is important to allow access to all means of communicating in these situations, not just verbally.
A child on the autism spectrum may not know how to begin a conversation and how the back and forth of conversation works.
To address this, Megan says “We work on total communication to allow a person to have access to all ways of communicating. This means a child may not make eye contact all the time and that is okay, there are different ways of communicating feelings and thoughts. We utilize every means to have a child comfortably communicate. A child can use their AAC (alternative augmentative communication) device, signs, gestures, behavior and/or body language to show their preference in conversations. We identify positive and negative responses to situations in role playing or problem solving in different social situations.”