Autism Speech Therapy
Convenient & Effective Speech Therapy
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
What is autism and when can autism be diagnosed?
According to CDC, 1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how children or people interact with others. They also have difficulties communicating their wants and needs and learning new concepts and vocabulary. Others might have restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, such as flipping objects, echolalia, or excessive smelling or touching of objects. Moreover, they may have a hard time behaving in different situations as they cannot adjust to the changes quickly.
Symptoms of autism begin to appear before the age of 3 and can last throughout a person’s life. It can cause problems in communication, social interaction, and language development. Some children might develop symptoms as early as 1 year old. Others may develop normally in their first year but show regression between 18 to 24 months of age. Each person with autism is unique. They do not have the same exact problem, as their symptoms vary from mild to severe.
The main signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are problems with social communication and interaction, including:
Your child cannot respond to their name by 12 months of age
By 14 months, he/she cannot point at objects to show interest such as pointing at an airplane flying over
By 18 months, he/she cannot play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll)
Your child avoids eye contact and wants to be alone
They have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
He/she has delayed speech and language skills
A speech pattern in autism include echolalia or repeat words or phrases
He/she gives unrelated answers to questions
They get upset by minor changes in the environment
He/she has obsessive interests such as the wheels of a car
Your child likes to flap his hands when excited, rock their body when anxious, or spin in circles
They may have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look or feel
Remember: these symptoms must not be viewed on their own but as a group of symptoms. In other words, some children who are not on the autism spectrum may exhibit some of these symptoms, and some children who are on the autism spectrum may not exhibit all of these symptoms.
SPEECH THERAPY FOR AUTISM
How speech therapy benefits individuals with autism?
Autism is a life-long condition and varies from child to child. That’s why therapy for autism needs an individualized approach to each child to address their specific needs holistically. There are a lot of professionals that can help people with autism overcome each autism characteristics. These include speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, audiologists, psychologists, special education, and many more.
Speech-language therapy works with children and adults with communication difficulties, especially speech patterns in autism. The overall goal for therapy of autism is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways.
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can help children with autism in several ways, including improving communication skills such as joint attention, asking and answering questions, turn-taking, asking for help, or improving how they play and get along with others. They can also help with reading and writing, or using AAC, including sign language, gestures, pictures, written words, or electronic devices. Additionally, SLPs can assist with addressing food aversions or sensitivities, which are common among children with autism.
AUTISM SPEECH EVALUATION
How speech pathologists can help evaluate autism in children?
Many of the diagnostic criteria for ASD are related to difficulties in social skills and communication. Therefore, speech pathologists (SLPs) have a great deal of experience in treating children with ASD. SLPs can use various tools and techniques, such as standardized tests, observation, and parent/caregiver interviews, to identify communication challenges and evaluate the child's overall communication abilities.
When a speech therapist evaluates or provides treatment to a young child or toddler at this age, they are able to monitor and very accurately report on many of the signs listed above. From how a child plays, to meeting speech or language developmental milestones, sensory issues and food preferences. By evaluating these areas, SLPs can help diagnose autism and develop individualized treatment plans to address the child's specific communication needs. SLPs may also work collaboratively with other professionals, such as psychologists and occupational therapists, to provide comprehensive care for children with autism. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, SLPs can help parents identify red flags and make suggestions for further evaluations.
AUTISM SPEECH THERAPY TREATMENT
How speech pathologists can help autistic children learn to speak more fluently?
It's important to have a good understanding about how children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will learn and use language. The rate of development and learning for children with ASD will be different than their typically-developing friends. This generally can happen because during the time that typically-developing children are focusing on people and are learning from people in their lives, an atypical child will be more focused on things happening around them.
Your speech pathologist from Better Speech will work with you on activities you can do at home, as well as working with your child in organized sessions. Our program can be customized to your child's specific needs. Together, we work with you, your family members and your child to create a complete therapy program for your child with ASD.
These activities may include:
Playing simple games that encourage speech
Modelling language, including speaking, gestures, and facial expressions
Teaching and singing songs together to help encourage speech and learn sentence cadence
Practicing essential language skills such as asking questions and greeting others
Rewarding your child appropriately when they use language or express themselves in another way
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