Communications Skills: Verbal Imitation

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Skill: Communication- Verbal Imitation


To be able to verbally copy sounds, words, and phrases that are heard.

Steps in the Learning Process

Step 1: Basic Sounds – Moo, Baah, Ssss

Step 2: Oral-Motor Imitation – move mouth, lips and tongue into different positions, example, frown, stick out tongue, push lips together

Step 3: Moving Object with Sounds: Voom, Roar, Meow, Choo-Choo, Bzzz, Beep-Beep

Step 4: Copy Sounds and Words:

Easy Vowels: ah, oh, oo (boot), ee, ay

Easy Consonants: m, b, p, d

Difficult Sounds:


aw, uh, oo (book), er, ar

a (cat), e (get), i (hit), eye, you, ow, oy

g, k, f, v, ng, y

r, l, ch, sh, th (that), zh

s, z, j, th(thin), wh


M + ah, oh, oo, ee, ay

B + ah, oh, oo, ee, ay

D + ah, oh, oo, ee, ay


Step 5: Modulation – speaking loud/soft, with inflection, a certain pitch, long/short

Step 6: Chains – combine one syllable words into two syllable words

Homogeneous Chains: mama, bye-bye

One syllable versus two syllable discrimination: da versus dada

Heterogeneous Chains: coo-kie, mom-mee

Step 7: Word imitation/articulation – have person copy the words that you say and shape, or correct, the way they say the words

Step 8: Imitating Phrases – have person copy two to five word phrases that you say and shape, or correct, the way they say the phrase

Information Input Tools

visual tools – pictures/images, videos, flashcards, picture books, social stories with imagescharts,diagramssocial script graphics

aural tools – sound, voice, music, songs, podcasts, radio, someone speaking instructions to you, audiobooks

verbal tools – words, speaking, writing – re-write out the instructions/checklist/story, read out loud

physical tools – body, hands, touch, act out what to do, touch objects as you are going through the process, build or create a project that represents the process, play games

multi-sensory tools – iPad/iPhone apps, games

Related Articles:

Steps in How to Learn a Skill with ASD

List of Skills to Learn with ASD

Complete List of Articles on Autism Spectrum Directory


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