Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can have struggles in many different areas of their life that require extra help. One of the top challenges parents face is their child’s struggle to communicate needs and feelings effectively. Autism speech therapy for communication can be an invaluable option for the families of autistic children to ensure their child has the healthiest, most fulfilling life possible. For more information about speech therapy options for children with autism, don’t hesitate to call EMIT Therapeutics at 844.983.0240.
How Does Autism Communication Improve Through a Speech Therapy Program?
Speech-language therapy addresses the challenges many children with autism face using language appropriately and effectively. The hope of a speech therapy program is bolstering autism communication. The goal is to improve all forms of communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. When a child with autism develops communication skills, their overall functioning improves.
Communication-related challenges will vary significantly from child to child. Some children have lived so far as strictly nonverbal, and parents are hoping to change this to better understand the child whom they love so much. Other children love conversing but have challenges communicating.
Many highly verbal children with autism have trouble following a conversation, reading facial expressions and body language, and picking up on social cues. Undesirable outcomes from interactions may confuse the child and cause frustration. The key benefit of successful speech therapy is facilitating clear communication with others. When a child doesn’t struggle to communicate their needs and feelings with others, there is less frustration, and life can run more smoothly.
Examples of the skills that a child can acquire through autism speech therapy include :
- Strengthening slack mouth, neck, and jaw muscles to facilitate speech
- Making speech more clear for others to understand by working on pitch, volume, and intonation
- Matching the emotions felt with the corresponding facial expressions, for themselves and in others
- Becoming familiar with idiosyncrasies of communication. Children learn how what they say and how they say it relates to social norms, expectations, and the results they desire
What Is Involved in a Speech Therapy Program for Autism?
The target of speech therapy for autism is improving communication and speech patterns. Speech therapy for autism usually begins with an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist to initially assess a child’s unique strengths and challenges in communicating with the world around them. After an assessment, a treatment plan can fit the child’s specific goals and needs. Speech therapy for autism is usually highly flexible and convenient and entirely dependent on the unique needs of the child and their family. Children with autism can receive treatment at home, at school, and just about anywhere. Many insurance companies cover autism communication treatment as well.
Autism communication therapies usually involve various activities and repetition to instill the skills needed to communicate in multiple settings. These activities will vary greatly depending on where the child is on the spectrum of autism and the goals of the child’s family. Typical autism communication goals include improving speech, recognizing and displaying nonverbal skills, or communicating effectively to others using alternative methods, such as pictures or technology.
Some examples of methods used in autism communication therapy are:
- Repetition and practicing conversations
- Responding to a series of questions
- Matching visual representations with definitions
- Activities that introduce nuances of written words, such as differentiating literal and figurative language
- Exercises that work toward modulating the tone of voice and facial expressions of children with autism
- Utilizing alternative augmentative communication to produce appropriate responses
- Practicing social skills in theoretical contexts and settings the child might encounter. Over time, this will help children develop a basic understanding of the differences in communication between family, friends, peers, authority figures, and strangers.
- Activities that focus on how effective communication relates to self-confidence and goal setting.
- Some trained speech therapists can address feeding and swallowing challenges for children whose autism requires more help with functioning.
Find Quality Autism Treatment with EMIT Therapeutics
EMIT Therapeutics specializes in helping families address their child’s unique needs and challenges with autism, no matter where they are in their development. We offer quality at-home care to offer you peace of mind, consistency, and reliability. For more information about our autism communication therapies, call EMIT Therapeutics today at 844.983.0240.