To prevent or stop a child talking to himself, probably the fastest way is to direct the child to engage in an incompatible behaviour like drinking or eating. But just like any other disruptive behaviours, the most effective and long-term solution to self-talking is to teach replacement skills.
If a child with ASD often talks to himself when he is not engaged, it is likely that the behaviour serves the function of killing boredom. The best way to manage the behaviour is to teach the child age-appropriate play skills, increase his interests to easy-to-access toys and activities, and to learn how to occupy his time independently. At a more advanced level, an individual may need to learn to be aware of the current social setting and to identify what is the more appropriate way to spend his free time. For example, in a classroom where students are engaging themselves quietly, our student should be able to notice the atmosphere and pick an activity that does not cause disturbance to the surroundings.
A child may tend to talk to himself during lessons. The active engagement in self-talk and the avoidance to participate in class or therapy suggest that he is not interested to the content being delivered, or he finds the instructions too difficult to understand and to complete. Therefore, the best strategy to deal with self-talk during lessons is to increase a child’s motivation to participate continuously, and, at the same time, making sure that he has the adequate prerequisite skills to learn what is taught.
Sometimes, a child self-talks to cope with the nervousness, anxieties or even excitement he experiences in social settings, like crowds, novel places and activities, and interaction with strangers or unfamiliar people. To help a child to cope with these challenges appropriately, they may have to go through tolerance training or a desensitisation process, acquire stress-management skills, and learn coping strategies like excusing themselves and distracting themselves appropriately, e.g. listening to preferred music in novel places.
There are always one or more reasons behind each behaviour. The best way to manage one is to replace it by teaching skills that a child needs.
Information provided by Autism Partnership
Autism Partnership (AP) is one of the most established Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) service providers for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in the world. Formed in 1994 in the United States, AP is run by professional clinicians and specializes in providing one-on-one therapy, group interventions and overseas consultation for children with ASD and their families.
Please share to let more people know about ABA Therapy Skills.
Autism Partnership （AP）於1994年在美國成立，是全球最具規模為自閉症患者提供『應用行為分析』(ABA) 治療的專業機構。AP是由多位專業臨床心理學家、應用行為分析治療顧問及治療師管理，為患有自閉症譜系障礙（ASD）的兒童及其家庭提供一對一治療、行為干預小組訓練及海外諮詢服務。