Touch is vital –
“touch is an important modality through which infants
and mothers communicate; it is also a vital means through which infants
self-regulate and explore their surroundings”
Touch It decreases stress by down-regulating stress hormones. Without touch infants fail to thrive.
Receptors bring in information from the outside world –
Skin – pain, temperature, itch, pressure, vibration, textures, etc
When something isn't working as it should the child may show certain characteristic behaviors -
Receptors in the inner ear detect rotational movement and changes in the head’s movement relative to gravity.
Characteristic Behaviors -
Sense of the body’s position at any given time.
Receptors found in joints, muscles and tendons, relays information about bending and stretching, and allows for fine motor movements. Body position is held subconsciously and adjusted as
The two types of expressions originate in different parts of the brain - .
1. Macroexpressions – voluntary
2. Microexpressions – involuntary, and thus harder to conceal
Early in development the child puts the various expressions into only 2 different categories – approval or disapproval.
The degree of eye contact can signal comfort level.
A lack of eye contact can suggest fear or apprehension.
Gestures are movements of the limbs or body in a specific way in order to express thought.
Non-verbal vocalizations and paralanguage.
Basically, it’s not what you say, but how you say it is what really matters.
For the main care-giver, reading the
child becomes almost intuitive. But
remember that for the child, reading the message in return is much harder.
List- making is easier than understanding sentence structure and in repetition of list-making enhances memory consolidation.
Making lists organizes thoughts.
Writing and art go hand in hand, as art provides a visual representation of the word. Involvement of this brain area is suggested for behaviors such as hand-flapping, spinning, and the need to line up toys.
Art includes many forms of expression: drawing, painting, photography, even reading or making maps, schematics, and architecture.
Art is a way to express what we see, what we feel and what we love. Much can be gained by examining art and using art as a way to communicate. Art adds depth to words that may be difficult to say verbally. It provides insight into what we think and dream about. Never take art for granted - it's so much more than just pictures.
Music is a conveyor of non-verbal communication, just
like art. It’s a conversation between
the one playing the music, and the one listening to music. Again, both are expressing emotion. But music has something that art does not – actual words
Unlike spoken language,
however, the words sung are not blocked in the speech processing area -
language is more readily understood.
According to Kimberly Sena Moore Ph.D., music therapy can be used,
“. . . to elicit spontaneous speech, to work on specific articulation patterns, and to increase their respiratory strength. Singing and speech utilize distinct and shared neural pathways, which can make singing a tremendously beneficial therapeutic option for strengthening neural connections needed for speech production.“ (Moore, 2013).
Body language is an unconscious expression of emotion. Fidgeting, pacing, standing, or sitting can reveal anxiety or relaxation.
It’s not just unconsciously used, but also unconsciously
perceived by the person watching. It
therefore plays a role in how we feel the other person is feeling – an
unconscious communication for both parties; giver and receiver.
Proxemics is the distance a person puts between
themselves and another – their physical proximity.
What a person wears, how they style their hair,
growing a beard or shaving, wearing jewelry, choosing whether to have tattoos,
deciding on clothing styles and colors, all are a part of our own personal
appearance and depict the person we wish to display to the world. It’s that first impression we wish to project.
Echolalia - speech practice. The repeating back what has been said. For example, “How do you feel today Matt?”
for which Matt would reply, “How do you feel today?”
The non-verbal category encompasses a wide range of abilities – or disabilities.
In its own way, non-verbal is similar in some aspects to the spectrum. There are lots of variations, from mute, to difficulties in producing speech, to being able to speak - but choosing not to. Maybe it’s too overwhelming. Maybe it’s confusing.
Many autistic individuals have this
self-talk behavior and most are told to try and control it, as talking to
oneself was thought once upon a time to be a sign of mental illness. It’s actually just the opposite.
Self-talk – talking aloud to yourself – is actually beneficial.
“. . . There’s a growing body of research to indicate that self-talk can help memory recall, confidence, focus and more” (Borzykowski, 2017).
Self-talk – the outer monologue – is actually a sign of high cognitive functioning.
“Our findings are just a small part of a much larger, ongoing stream of research on self-talk, which is proving to have far-reaching implications. “Not only does non-first-person self-talk help people perform better under stress and help them get control of their emotions, it also helps them reason more wisely.” (Borzykowski, 2017).