When your child is diagnosed with autism, speech and language therapy is often one of the first and best treatments recommended by all doctors. Our pathologist will explain how speech therapy can help a child with autism.
Speech therapy can play a key role in treating autism:
These types of communication problems are common in children diagnosed with autism. Speech and language therapy often plays a key role in your Early Intervention treatment. Children and their families are best referred by our specialists.
Once autism has been diagnosed in children, through speech and language therapy our professionals will help you find a better improvement in communication and improve their quality of life. With autism, your child has little or no speech, our speech and language therapy team can present alternatives to speech, such as signing or the use of technology to support communication.
How does speech therapy help children with autism?
The main goal of speech and language therapy is to help children improve their communication. A child with autism is especially important because communication is a key component in their ability to form relationships and function in their world.
Speech therapy can often help a child with autism to:
1. Develop the ability to express your wants and needs.
This could be through the use of verbal and non-verbal communication. Children with autism must learn to exchange ideas with others.
This is not only important within the family, but also when they move out of the home and want to build relationships with their peers.
2. Understand what they are told
Speech and language therapy helps children with autism understand the verbal and non-verbal communication that other people use. It also helps them recognize signs like body language and facial expressions.
Speech and language therapy can help an autistic child understand how to initiate communication without being asked by others.
3. Communicate to develop friendships and interact with peers.
Some children with autism can fight back with the spontaneity and unpredictability of casual conversations. He also has very specific interests and has a hard time talking about other things.
Speech and language therapy can teach these children strategies for mixing with other children so they can make friends, play games, and experience social success.
4. Learn to communicate in a way that other people understand.
Sometimes autism in children can bring with it unusual language processing and idiosyncratic learning patterns. As a result, children with autism commonly have trouble developing spoken language. Sometimes they learn spoken language in parts without breaking what they hear into individual words and sounds.
They may repeat long ‘snippets’ of favorite stories or TV shows without really understanding what they are saying or unable to use any of the words in the ‘snippet’ independently. This is called ‘echolalia’ and speech therapy helps children find ways to overcome it and the other difficulties children with autism have when talking to other people.
5. Articulate words and sentences well
Like many neurotypical children, children with autism also struggle with articulating sounds and placing words in sentences. Many children with autism also have great difficulties with concepts of time, abstract language, and context-dependent vocabulary for meaning.
Non-literal language like idioms, suggestions, and indirect instructions can also be tricky. These are areas in which a speech pathologist can help a child with autism.
Autism is usually apparent before age 3, and language delays can be recognized by 18 months of age. In some cases, autism can be identified between 10 and 12 months of age. It is very important to start speech and language therapy for children with autism as early as possible, when it can have the greatest impact.