Activities for non verbal 2 year old

Hi, I am a developmental play therapist in Early Intervention. I just started working with a little girl who turned 2 in Jan; mostly non verbal. Waiting on an ASD diagnosis. I’m trying to work with mom on having her use some simple signs to communicate. Ideas on PECS? Or something I should do that could really help? I feel kind of stuck at times and spinning my wheels. I see her weekly for 60 minutes.

Hopefully we can get some amazing SLPs to offer some tips

@TinyTalkers @AlyssaCSLP @SLPHalley @abg_speechtherapy @Speechwithjwo @abg_speechtherapy

Hi! I am not a therapist (an aspiring SLP but not there yet!) but I have a lot of experience with non-speaking children and AAC (augmented and alternative/adaptive communication). In terms of activities, it’s hard to suggest specific things because every child is different in terms of preferences.

I’d suggest staying away from PECs at all costs. Happy to explain why if you’re interested. The best starting point, until this child has access to a robust communication system, is a core board. Core words are way more adaptive and important than what is usually used for PECs. Check out for a free core board to print.

Any game you play or book you read, model these core words. For example, “turn” is a core word. You might say “my turn!” And point to “turn.” Or maybe you’ve on a spinny chair and you say “ready, set, TURN!” And point to “turn.” Do not force the child to use the core board or even look at it - the more you model, the more they will learn to use it on their own!

I hope this was a bit helpful to you. Good luck and have fun!

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