Is there a need for speech therapy for Autism?
Many autistics have speech and language-related challenges. Since each person is different, each one has different needs. People with Autism have various challenges, such as:
Difficulty in communication skills
Autistics may have various challenges concerning communication which include difficulties in the:
- Comprehending and using non-verbal communication skills like pointing, waving, etc.
- Comprehension and verbal usage of words
- Following directions for a task
- Initiating, maintaining, and ending a conversation
- Learn reading and writing skills. They may also not always understand what they are reading.
In addition to this, an autistic may,
- Repeat words or sentences that they have heard, also known as echolalia or scripting
- Use a rich intonation while speaking
- Speak in the third person
- Have limited speech
Difficulty in social skills
An autistic may have difficulty with social skills. Some of the challenges include the following:
- Difficulty in relating to others and taking the other’s perspective
- Difficulty in understanding how others feel
- Difficulty in focusing and maintaining attention with another person toward a task or an object
- Difficulty in understanding concepts such as playing with peers, sharing toys
- Difficulty in taking turns while playing and even in maintaining conversations
There are many more difficulties that an Autistic might experience. That is why it is always better to intervene at the earliest problems. Your child may need various professionals to help them with these challenges. When you suspect speech difficulties, it is always recommended to consult a certified speech-language pathologist. The speech-language pathologist plays a vital role in the treatment of Autism. A speech-language pathologist will assess and treat the speech, language, and communication difficulties that your child presents with.
What are the benefits of speech therapy for Autism?
There are numerous benefits of speech therapy for children with Autism. Below is a list of some of them. Speech therapy helps with the following:
- Building and improving communication skills
- Improving social skills in various settings such as school, home, playground, etc.
- Providing an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device
Depending on each person’s need, your speech-language pathologist will set some goals for your child. In addition to the above, an autistic child can receive the following benefits such as:
- Communicating with various persons in different settings
- Using AAC to express daily needs and communication
- Taking turns with one another while playing or conversing
- Improve your child’s communication strengths
- Improve reading and writing skills
- Improve comprehension and non-verbal communication skills like pointing, waving, etc.
- Improve the receptive and expressive language skills
- Improve an Autistic’s ability to follow directions, commands, etc.
- Improve the ability to initiate, maintain and end a conversation
- Helping an autistic child understand how others feel
- Help them understand how to relate to another person
- Improve their ability to allocate their attention to a person when doing a specified task
- Improve their ability to understand social concepts like playing with peers, sharing toys, etc.
The benefits of speech therapy do not stop just when your child is young. Autistic adolescents, as well as adults, benefit from speech therapy. It helps them:
- Communicate in a better and more effective way and multiple settings like college, work, etc.
- Making required provisions in these settings
- Practice various communication skills such as speaking to a group, attending an interview, giving a presentation, etc.
- Communicate with new people and help them relate to them.
- Generalize skills learned during speech therapy sessions
There are yet, more benefits to speech therapy. Not only the autistic person but the families and/or caregivers also understand how to communicate with their child. Your child’s speech-language pathologist may counsel you about some speech and language strategies, such as:
- Comment about what you are doing or what your child is doing. Also known as ‘self-talk’ or ‘parallel talk.’
- Add more information or words to what your child has just said.
- Giving them prompts or cues to help them finish a task
- Home strategies to model and use the AAC device to facilitate communication
There are a lot more benefits of speech therapy for children with Autism. If you have an Autistic child with concerns about their speech and language skills, please get in touch with a certified speech-language pathologist.
If you are interested in speech therapy services, please contact us: Therapy Services – Speech Improvement Center
If you are interested in speech therapy careers, please contact us: Employment Opportunities – Speech Improvement Center
Check our locations here: Locations – Speech Improvement Center