Incorporating opportunities throughout the day for your child to “ask” for help or look to you for help is an effective way to practice his attention to and understanding of your nonverbal communications. You can do this by setting preferred objects or materials just out of your child’s reach, or having his favorite toys in clear containers that require your help to open. Highlighting your gestures, facial expressions, and body movements as you respond to his request, and “rewarding” him with the desired action or object teaches your child the value of nonverbal communication.
I know I have used this strategy when:
- My child points to a preferred object that I placed just out of reach.
- My child hands me a container that has an object inside.
- My child takes my hand to help fit a puzzle piece into place.
- My child hands a wind-up toy back to me when it stops.