It seems to me that Oliver is learning more and more everyday that incessant crying gets him what he wants. It is so difficult for me to allow him to cry when I know what he wants.  To encourage speech and language development, I need to push him to speak by suddenly not understanding his cries. I need to express to him that screaming and crying isn’t how we ask for milk or for a certain toy. My plan is to, from here on out, tell him, “I’m sorry buddy– I don’t understand screaming. Screaming doesn’t tell me WHAT it is that you want. Can you show me what you want? Can you sign to me what it is that you want? Can you tell me what you want?” I’m hoping that this will improve our current situation. I’m interested in hearing from others who have been in similar situations and how you addressed it. 


  1. I’ve totally been there. It’s so hard, but it pays off. My son is 4 and is starting to become verbal, and when he wants something, he just says “that one.” It’ll take 5 minutes sometimes for him to actually say it, but just because I know what he wants doesn’t mean everyone will. Keep going. It gets better!


    • Thank you so much for your feedback! I appreciate you letting me know that I’m not alone in this. As I’m sure you can relate, this experience can feel rather lonely at times, when you see parents of neurotypical toddlers/children having such an easy time. Thanks for checking my blog out. 🙂


  2. Simple is best. The less words the better. A verb and a noun….*tell me*….*show me*…….*use your words*……*sign please*…….only one concept at a time. If you want him to stop, tell him STOP and nothing else. Giving him one thing and one thing only to focus on at a time really helps.

    I used intense behavior management techniques such as what is now called ABA and my son is 35, nonverbal but uses ASL (American Sign Language) which was part of the *Total Communication* movement at the time he was a small child. He is not able to speak….and he had intensive speech/language therapy until he was 21…but does understand probably more than we give him credit for. Yep, it does get better but the crying and temper stuff needs to be addressed, pronto.

    Keep strong!


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