Autism Language - Speech and Language Therapy for Children With Autism
What is it? The goal of speech therapy is to improve all parts of communication. This includes: comprehension, expression, sound production, and social use of language (1). Speech therapy may include sign slang and the use of picture symbols (2). At its best, a specific speech therapy plan is custom to the specific weaknesses of the precise child (1). Unfortunately, it can be difficult to fashion a child-specific, evolving, continual speech therapy guidelines (1, 3). Autism Language
The National Research Council describes four aspects of beneficial speech therapy- (1) Speech therapy should begin early in a child's life and be frequent. (2) Therapy should be rooted in practical experience in the child's life. (3) Therapy should encourage spontaneous communication. (4) Any communication skills learned during speech therapy should be generalizable to multiple situations (4). Autism Language
Thus, any speech therapy program should include practice in many different places with many different people (2). In order for speech therapy to be most successful, caregivers should practice speech exercises during normal daily routines in the home, school, and community (1, 5). Speech therapists can give specific examples of how best to incorporate speech therapy throughout a child's day (6).
What's it like? Speech therapy sessions will vary greatly depending upon the child. If the child is younger than three years old, then the speech therapist will most likely come into the home for a one hour session. If the child is older than three, then therapy session swill occur at school or in the therapist's office. If the child is school age, expect that speech therapy will include one-on-one time with the child, classroom-based activities, and consultations between the speech therapist and teachers and parents (2).
The sessions should be designed to engage the child in communication. The therapist will engage the child through games and toys chosen specifically for the child. Several different speech therapy techniques and approaches can be used in a single session or throughout many sessions (see below). What is the theory behind it? Children with autism not only have trouble communicating socially, but often also have problems behaving.
These behavioral problems are believed to be at least partially caused by the frustration associated with the inability to communicate. Speech therapy is intended to not only improve social communication skills, but also teach the ability to use those communication skills as an alternative to unacceptable behavior (1). Don't let your child suffer anymore! Lead your child out of his world through Autism Language program now!