Meaningful stimuli may be all it takes to break through to difficult-to-reach clients. Last year, when a nonverbal client with autism spectrum disorder was not responding to naming pictures or objects in the therapy room, I asked his mother to supply photos of favorite foods, toys, people and places from home. He immediately showed greater interest to the photos, imitated transparent gestures to name 85% of the photos, and attempted to imitate my verbal labels. Several months later, the new SLP at that facility reported that he remembered them!
Submitted by Denise Rogers, MA, CCC-SLP, Spartanburg School District 7, Spartanburg, South Carolina