How to converse with the non-verbal?!!
That is a fundamental problem.
When they lock themselves into their world, how do you enter and bring them out?

Try the music conversation.

Play 3 or 4 notes on the keyboard and then say, "Now you play."
Next mimic what your child played and say, "Now you play."
For several times, copy your child's effort (which says "I accept and value your music"), then add a few variations.
  • Pick one of her notes and replay it with a rhythmic variations, like long - short - long.  (Da-- di da---)
  • Play your student's notes in a different octave
  • If your child played 3 white notes, you play 3 black notes
Next, see if you can lead.  Play something new and see if she will copy.  If not, return to copying.  If yes, then lead her into new musical territory.

My ASD student took about 3 weeks before she would copy me.  My other special needs students followed sooner, and what a difference it made in their playing!  One in particular made a giant leap in ability and strenghtened our teacher/student relationship.  Now I converse with all my students and they even tell jokes.

Please try this with your child and comment in the blog.  Together we can develop this site into a primary research vehicle to reach more of our precious children.