In order to improve communication and language skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), speech therapy is an excellent option.
What might a child with ASD need Speech Therapy for?
Communication is often difficult for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In most cases, we think of speech therapy as only treating stuttering or problems producing sounds (articulation disorders). The benefits of speech therapy go far beyond that. The goal of speech therapy is to assess and treat different types of speech disorders and communication difficulties. Speech therapy can help children with Autism understand the verbal and nonverbal communication they experience on a daily basis.
When a child has Autism, he or she may have difficulty with imaginative play, which is play that the child chooses freely, that is intrinsically motivated, and that is directed by the child. For social and emotional development, play is essential.
Speech therapy is beneficial for children with Autism Spectrum disorders who may experience language delays. A child with language delays may struggle to produce sounds, have limited vocabulary, have difficulty using words and grammar correctly, have difficulty following directions, and struggle to interact socially.
Language difficulties are more than just speech delays. Many children with ASD have difficulty with nonverbal communication. Speech therapy includes the production of sounds to form words and sentences as well as the understanding and expression of language through writing, speaking, pictures, and body language.
Speech delays often refer to expressive language. Meaning how well does your child express themselves and their needs.
Some examples of language delays:
- a 12 month old who is not using gestures like bye bye, mama, dada, uh-oh, unable to follow simple commands and instructions like “come here” or “sit down”
- a 18 month old who likes to use gestures instead of their words to communicate or who is not imitating sounds, not forming 2 word phrases, imitating back and forth conversations, using gestures and words combined to express themselves
- a two-year-old who hasn’t started speaking spontaneously and who is still just imitating sounds, using unusual voices, cannot follow simple directions, speaking in 2-3 word phrases, using at least 200 to as many as 1000 words (both real and made up), stating their first name, using pronouns like I, me, my, mine
Speech therapy can take place in the clinic or in a school setting, because the delays mentioned above will affect your child’s quality of life and be present in all areas of their life. The location of therapy depends on each child’s individual needs. However, many children will require therapy in both settings to ensure the most success. Depending on the location and setting of therapy, your child may be working one on one with their therapist or in a group. The goal of speech therapy is to improve children’s overall communication, which allows them to express themselves more effectively in a variety of settings.
The length of time that your child will need depends on a few factors, such as: age, type of disorder, severity of disorder, frequency of therapy, other medical conditions, other treatments they are receiving. It is important to remember that every child is different and all needs are different. There are some speech disorders that your child may grow out of, some that develop later in childhood, some that begin early in childhood, and others that will require long term therapy and continued maintenance.
Benefits of Speech therapy for a child with ASD
Because ASD is a lifetime diagnosis, early intervention is key to being independent and successful in life. Being able to learn the most effective method of communication is incredibly important for your child.
For this reason, a child with Autism can benefit greatly from Speech therapy. Language, the use of words, and sentence formation can be improved by Speech therapy. Providing purposeful interactions with others can also enhance a child’s social interactions so that they can navigate future interactions with their peers, parents, and acquaintances. When a child is able to express themselves they are less likely to get frustrated. Often in children with ASD the difficulty with communication can lead to some challenging behaviors. Everyone benefits when your child is able to express themselves appropriately and effectively.
Check out The Therapy Place for more information about Speech therapy! https://www.therapyplacenj.com/
Techniques used in Speech Therapy for a child with ASD might look like:
- Using words and sentences correctly and effectively is modeled by the therapists.
- Children will be asked to repeat lines by the therapists to learn and practice their language skills. Modeling vocabulary and using grammar properly through repetition will aid your child in learning to communicate better.
- Through picture exchanges, therapists can help your child learn language skills. In addition, therapists can give students with ASD an effective method of communicating by using pictures and symbols.
- Using storytelling, the therapists illustrate social and emotional expectations for your child. Presenting these lessons in stories for children is an engaging way to teach them these lessons.
Speech therapy for a child with ASD uses a variety of techniques. Our therapists here at The Therapy Place will use a variety of techniques to help your child improve his or her communication skills. Successful therapy will always require constant monitoring and adjustment. Re-evaluations will take place as your child grows and their needs change. Your child’s therapist will also provide strategies for you and your child to use at home.
Each child develops at a unique pace, however development tends to follow a pretty predictable path with each milestone building on the previous one. If you have any concerns, the Therapy Place can provide evaluations for children with ASD. If you are concerned about your child, The Therapy Place can help. Call us today for a free evaluation to see what your child can benefit from.
Check out The Therapy Place for more informative and insightful information that will interest you! https://www.therapyplacenj.com/
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