At What Age Should I Give Up On Trying To Teach My Child With Autism To Talk?

Question: At what age should I give up on trying to teach my child with autism to talk?

Answer: Some families wonder if there's ever a time when it makes sense to give up on whether a child will learn to talk, for example. And that's a very difficult question, certainly one that people wrestle with.

I'm not sure what giving up looks like exactly, but I'm sure that there's no age that one can say that talking will never happen. And while the likelihood of talking emerging diminishes over the passing years, one can never say with certainty, "never."

The real question though, is not focused on talking, but rather on communication, and virtually every child can communicate his or her wants and needs in some way.

So whether or not they're vocalizing words, it is still very possible to learn how it is that they communicate their wants and needs, and that might begin with simple behaviors like leading you around the house or putting your hand on things that they want, and move to the use of gestures or signs or assistive communication devices.

The focus, really, should always be on communication, and there really isn't a child with autism who doesn't pick up that ability, or from whom we can't learn how to understand their wants and needs.