How To Build Rapport With Your Autistic Child

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Are you ready to get even more in tune with your autistic child?  You may have discovered the best way to communicate with your autistic child, but it will take more than just choosing the right types of words.  You need to develop a rapport with him, so that he trusts you and feels comfortable talking to you about things.

There are two ways to develop rapport with an autistic child and again, these will work best with a mildly autistic child.

Mirroring

Yes, mirroring is exactly as it sounds.  You are going to mirror your child.  Does that mean you are going to act just like him?  No, but it does mean that you are going to mimic him.  How?  Well first you have to observe your child.  You need to observe his:

Facial expressions

  • Tone of voice
  • Rate of speech
  • Posture
  • Movements

You goal is not to match these exactly, but to approximate them.  If he sounds enthusiastic, you can too.  If he tugs at his ear, you can play with your finger or rub your chin.  If he taps his foot, you can tap you pen or your spoon to the same beat.

Why is this so effective? It is because the subconscious mind likes it so much.  Yep!  The subconscious is actually flattered by all this wonderful attention.  Your child won’t notice what you are doing on a conscious level, but deep down their subconscious is warming up to you and letting you in.  This is far more effective than any conscious attempt at relating to your child, or at least it will allow your child to warm up to you enough that you can relate to him and he can relate to you.

Establishing rapport with a child by using mirroring is really very easy.  You need to do two simple things that tell him that you are working with him on his level.  These things are:

1. Physically get down on the same level as your child, if they are smaller than you.  If the child is older and bigger, sitting down at the table together might work best.  This will bring you eye-to-eye with your child.

2. When you speak with your child, mimic his tone, facial expression, movements, and the rate of his speech.

This will allow you to get close enough to your child that you can actually get a glimpse of the world through his filter.  By seeing his perspective, his perception of the world, even for a moment, it will be a lot easier to see why he is behaving the way he is behaving.  When you can do that, you will be able to show him that you care, that you understand, and that you aren’t angry or judging him for it.  When he knows this, he will be far more open to letting you help him find a way to change that behavior.

Mirroring is a skill that you need to hone and practice.

The great thing is that you can practice it anywhere and at any time.  You can practice it when you watch talk shows, when you are in line at the bank, and even when you eat out at a restaurant.  There are people everywhere and as long as you can see them, you can mirror them.

Do you like this tool box strategy?

Please provide your comment and how I can help you through my workshop or private coaching.

Email Rachael@MotivateSchoolKids.com.

Stay tuned for the next tip on building rapport with your autistic child!

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