I experienced a time when my teen experiencing severe anxiety was non-verbal. It wasn’t that he couldn’t speak or listen, it was just so overwhelming for him to interact that way. He had shut down to the point of not being able to cope with the most basic of interactions. This was incredibly scary and difficult, yet I needed to find a way to communicate.
I started writing short messages in chocolate letters, then quickly moved to leaving hand written notes. Very short updates of what was happening, especially if he had an appointment. I used different colored pens and always signed off with Love. I used different colored pens to stimulate the brain visually and hopefully to shift the energy, there are articles about color therapy. My teen feedback eventually that it was easier to absorb the information presented this way. I think he began looking forward to them. I never received a written response, but I didn’t expect to as he had become unaccustomed to writing and it was a huge effort to simply write his name.
I also began to use Skype to message him. As he was on the computer most of the time this was highly effective and I often got a response. The messages were always very short and signed off with Love. I used every interaction to be positive and shower him in Love. His birthday came and we decorated the room where his computer was, so that he would know he was special and loved without the need for talking.
Now that his communication is at a higher level I do not need to resort to these modes of Communicating without talking. However, there are occasions when I still use them, and he will now text me if he experiences a problem. Its a relief to have more open and free-flowing communication.
I am hopeful that this can support others out there who are experiencing similar difficulties. It took some trial and lots of error to find out what worked most effectively. Keep persisting without intruding, they are so worth it.