It’s Not Easy to Wave Bye-Bye
Learning to wave "Hi" and "Bye" is # 2 of my
TOP 5 GOOD MANNERS FOR YOUNG TODDLERS WITH ASD
This is essential because it is an early, basic and reciprocal means of communication. It is a greeting and a salutation. It takes place between two or more people. It represents a beginning and an end.
Typically developing infants and toddlers learn from a very early age to look at people, smile and wave. One of the hallmarks of infants with ASD is that they do NOT perform these interactions. Early intervention is essential. According to Dr. Louis Rossetti, PhD, on The Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale, a child "waves in response to bye-bye" at 6-9 months of age. Dr. Rossetti says, "Every child can grow and learn and change."
This story is very fresh in my mind because it happened just recently. I was at the home of Keith, who is 2.5 yeas old. (I usually do not do evening therapy sessions but his mother works during the day, so I see Keith and his father.) I entered the home with enthusiastic greetings directed toward Keith. He did not look in my direction or acknowledge my presence. I pursued my greeting with smiles, waves, song, and a little jig. I think Keith finally looked my way to see all the commotion. Then, in his silence, he went back to his activity. We had a great therapy session, and then came time for salutations and that old familiar expectation of waving bye-bye. Once again, it didn't happen. Keith's mother picked him up and walked me out to my car after several attempts from me to elicit a proper good-bye. She did what any good mother would do - she took Keith's hand and waved it for him.
It isn't easy to get hi's and bye's but they are so important. Never give up trying.
How do you teach "hi" and "bye?"
- With persistence
- With consistence
- With insistence
(♥ wave a flag, a paper plate, a pom-pom, a streamer, a flower, a leaf, a ribbon - always with purpose, not as a stim)
- Every time
- The same way
- Be verbal
- With fun and enthusiasm
- Share strategies across environments
"Speech pathologists make good things happen."
PS. I invite you to read about the man, Dr. Louis Rossetti, whose test you probably use so very often, The Rossetti Infant-Toddler Language Scale. The title of this article by Jan Thelen is so apropos, "Rossetti: Passion with Compassion." I am lucky to know both the passion and compassion of this man, our fellow SLP. I probably never thanked him enough all those years ago. Thank you, Lou: you were there when our family needed you and you would be proud of Doug today.