When teaching a child with Autism, so many painstaking baby steps of progress can happen when teaching language that its easy to forget what language looks like with a "normal" (that dreaded word) child.
When teaching language to a child with Autism, the child may initially just have a handful of words. Then they can say 15 words....then 30.....then 42! The progress is so exciting and therapists and parents are so happy to be able to communicate with the child that everyone can forget that typically developing children have vocabularies that are large, varied, and complex.
When I spend time with typically developing young children, it amazes me sometimes to watch things they can do that my much older clients still cannot do. Spent time with a 2 year old lately? They will talk your head off! :-)
It is important as therapists and parents to remember to set high goals. Don't compare your child or your client to other kids with Autism. Set high goals, and work diligently to help the child meet the goals.
I found the above photo on Pinterest (do you know about Pinterest?? Its awesome!), and I immediately thought of Manding trials and pulling language out of my clients, often over weeks or months.
Does your verbal child with Autism chatter as much as a typical child of the same age? If not, I challenge you to set higher goals for that child. Can your child engage in conversation, answer novel questions, or describe things? Or does their language consist only of mands ("I want juice") or tacts (child points to car driving by, "Car") ?
I challenge you to spend some time with a typical child the same age as your child, and then go back and take an honest look at your child's ABA progress and language goals.