I am aware that every therapist works differently, because of course every child is different. However for those of you, who like us, are working on improving eye contact and communication, this post may be helpful.
THE SONG BAG
Matthew loves music. He has done since he was tiny and I have sung to him since the day he was born. I have therefore found that this is the most effective way of encouraging him to make and maintain eye contact. So recently our Speech & Language Therapist set us the task of creating a Song Bag. This was to be filled with objects which might symbolise each of Matthews favourite songs. Nothing fancy or expensive, just some items that he could relate to each song.
So the purpose of the Song Bag is to let Matthew see whats inside, and encourage him to choose one item at a time. Whatever item he chooses we then sing the song that’s related to that item. This allows him to make sense of what that particular item is, as well as encourage him to choose those items because he favours the song related to it.
When we sing, he must maintain eye contact. If he doesn’t then we simply pause the song and resume when he once again makes eye contact. We have found this aspect of the exercise particularly positive, however it is still early days for Matthew to be able to make sense out of which item represents which song. Our Speech & Language Therapist advised us that this may take some time. Like everything else with therapy, perseverance is key. Matthew has already made so much progress in such a short space of time, so we are very optimistic about how he will develop these skills.
In case you are curious, I will include an image of what we have in our Song Bag. Everybody’s selections are different, but this may give you some ideas.