For children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, social communication is a challenge. On the surface, social communication appears to be all about talking. However, the road to successful communication begins long before children start using words. One of the first steps in this process are the back and forth interactions that your child has with the important adults in his or her life.
One way to support the back and forth interaction between you and your child is imitation. Imitation is coping another person’s actions with objects (such as banging blocks together), gestures and body movements (such as clapping, spinning around), and sounds or words.
When you imitate your child, your child becomes the leader of the game. This helps your child to choose the activity and share their interest with you. It helps your child to notice you and look at what you are doing. Imitating your child also encourages your child to imitate you. The ability to imitate helps children to learn new skills by observing other people.