Transactional Model of Language Teaching
Therapy with Preverbal Children
Treatment for Autism
Just as children do not get up and walk before learning to roll over, sit up, and crawl, children must learn a series of communication skills before learning words. Prelinguistic (pre-language) skills include crying, eye contact, gestures, body movements, facial expressions, and different types of vocalizations. Infants who lack these skills should be enrolled in speech-language intervention to prevent further lag in the verbal stage. Children with known risk factors (e.g., Down Syndrome, stroke/brain injury, developmental delay) should be enrolled as early as possible so that maximum progress can be made.
With preverbal children, parents and caregivers are intimately involved in sessions and taught strategies for home carryover. Prelinguistic therapy is individualized to the child and family. Some skills that are taught include: imitating babbling sounds after an adult, making vocal sounds to request, and using reaching or pointing gestures to communicate.