The ultimate goal of speech therapy is to help a child to improve their communication. For autistic children, this is especially important because communication is a key component in their ability to form relationships and function in their world.
Speech therapy can help to:
Develop the ability to express their wants and needs –
This might be by using verbal and non-verbal communication aids. Kids with autism need to be taught how to exchange ideas with others. This is not only important within the family, but also when they move outside of the home and want to build relationships with their peers.
Understand what is being said to them –
Speech therapy helps children with autism to comprehend the verbal and nonverbal communication that other people use. It helps them to recognize cues like body language and facial expressions. Speech therapy can also help a child with autism to understand how to initiate communication without prompting from others.
Communicate in order to develop friendships and interact with peers –
Some children with autism struggle with the spontaneity and unpredictability of casual conversations. Some also have very specific interests and find it hard to talk about other things. Speech therapy can assist these children with strategies for socializing with other kids.
Learn to communicate in a way that other people understand –
Autism sometimes brings with it distinctive learning patterns and extraordinary language processing. They sometimes learn spoken language in chunks. They might repeat long ‘chunks’ of favourite stories or TV shows without really understanding what they’re saying. This is called ‘echolalia’ and speech therapy helps children to find ways to overcome it when talking with others.
Articulate words and sentences well –
Many children with autism also have difficulty with time concepts, abstract language and vocabulary. Non-literal language like idioms, hints and indirect instructions can also be tricky.
Does your child with autism need speech therapy?
To find out how we can help your child, contact us on 063 068 1814 or leave a message here