Our 2 year old was just diagnosed with PDD-NOS. We're working with her to increase her words at home (while waiting to hear about our acceptance to an ABA program), but nothing translates to when we go out in public. She just won't speak even if she's comfortable around my husband or me. Why does this happen with kids on the ASD and what can we do to work on it while waiting for therapy?
You bring up a good question, getting skills to generalize is an important and often overlooked part of teaching. It’s a great sign that you’re getting communication improvements at home and you can absolutely program to help with generalization. One good way to do it is to arrange plenty of opportunities for her to speak to novel people, prompt, and have lots of reinforcement for any talking that you can catch. Friends and family can be great for standing in for “novel” people and you can supplement this with lots of prompting and reinforcement for speech in new places with you or your husband. If you can get her saying something to you in a new place with other people around, that’s a great step!
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