By Naomi Francis, Speech Pathologist
In early communication development, there’s often a heavy focus on nouns (what is this?), verbs (what are they doing?), and basic concepts (is it big or little?). An area that may be overlooked is the use of “Mental State” words. These are words we use to describe how we think or feel.
Understanding and using these words can help us tune in to another persons perspective, participate in conversations, understand stories, learn to self-regulate, and learn language.
Sometimes it can be hard for children (and adults), especially on the autism spectrum, to understand and use these words effectively.
Supporting development of these words can be as simple as talking about you or you child’s feelings and thoughts, or referring to them in favourite books, tv shows, or movies. Speech Pathologists and Psychologists can also provide additional strategies. For more information, please see the attached link, or discuss with your clinical team how to best support development of “Mental State” words.