I began working with Willie about 6 months ago.  He has a full time "nannie" or "para" to keep him under control and help him along.  Without Para, the lessons would be impossible.
It is time to get him to talk.  What words does he know?  WILL he talk?  CAN he talk?

The first goal was to connect with him.  So I casually asked, "Willie, will you bring over the chair?"  And he did.
Next I held up items and said their names:  pencil, pen, ball, book.  He would usually repeat the word.
The key word is "casually".  I was not teaching him anything, I was just talking with him to engage him with me.
Would you hand me my pen?
This is my pencil, here is yours.  I'll draw this quarter note, you draw one here.
Oops, I dropped the paper.  Would you pick it up for me?
How do you open this piano lid?

Of course there were melt-downs.  Para had to bring him back to the room when he wandered.  There were many "won't" times.  BUT WILLIE TALKED TO ME, and our minds connected.  That is truly WATER (ala Helen Keller).