Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is diagnosed in the early 3 years of a child’s life.
It is defined as the set of behavior that impacts differently to different people. The first four areas impacting the most are social skills, relationships, communication, and self-regulation.
As your child grows, you notice a few things like how they talk or interact with their surroundings. For speech disorders like the inability to communicate with others, we recommend you opt for ABA-based speech therapy.
Speech therapy for autism is the therapy to improve the challenges with speech and communication. It helps to improve verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. In autism, the challenges vary from person to person. Some individuals are not able to speak, some talk too much but face difficulty to hold the conversation. They do not understand the body language or analyze facial expressions when talking with others.
In this program, the evaluation begins with analyzing a person’s communication strengths and challenges.
What are the speech problems in children?
- Lack of Speech: In this condition, a child makes no sounds or very few sounds.
- Echolalia: In this condition, when someone speaks….., instead of answering, the child repeats what the other person has said
- The child can say a few words but does not use them to ask for an item or take the attention of another person. eg., the child can say ‘apple’ but he cannot use the word to ask for an apple , when it is not in his reach.
- The child learns the sentences in rote and tries to apply them in somewhat relevant situations. eg., if the child wants to go out but instead of saying ‘want to go out’, he says ‘wear shoes’.
Can Speech Therapy Help Autistic Children?
Speech therapy(ABA based) is recommended for children as it is a major part of autism treatment. The benefits of speech therapy for autism are:
- Children who suffer from autism find it difficult to make certain sounds. Instead of talking, they start making harsh sounds. Our speech therapist in Lucknow will help the autistic child to learn to articulate sounds. This therapy helps the child to exercise the facial muscles and lips
- Echolalia: This condition is very normal in an autistic child, but when untreated it can make the child aloof , which is not good for child development. Speech Therapy is the only therapy to treat Echolalia.
- It helps them in learning vocabulary: Autism Children memorize words without understanding their meaning. Our autism child speech therapist will help the child to understand the word’s meaning and put that word into context, this helps the child to be independent of gestures or moves that make them confident. It also increases receptivity which means after learning the wide vocabulary, the child knows how to answer the question clearly. Apart from learning new vocabulary, our speech therapist for toddlers will teach how to communicate at the right place & time
- Stuttering is the most common disorder in Autism children. In this disorder, a child often takes breaks while speaking. This disorder basically starts in childhood and if not treated well, it can continue till adulthood. In speech therapy for autism, our speech & language therapist treats this disorder by guiding the child to speak properly without straining the forehead, neck & odd motor movements. This way a child gets full guidance to present themselves nicely while getting exposed to others.
- When a child is unable to speak properly, they make some sounds that refer to as Resonance. This Resonance can cause vocal & nasal abuse which can further lead to a hoarse voice. Our Speech & Language therapist helps the child to speak properly without hampering the quality of the voiceIn speech therapy, the same techniques will not be followed for every child. Our child speech therapist works closely with the autistic child, the child’s parents, and caretakers to get the exact insight about the child. They set some goals and monitor the improvements in the child. Speech therapy includes the use of typing or signing, electronic talkers, facial exercise, picture boards, and massages, using rhyme to help construct sentences and using sounds, these help the child to expand speech sounds
If the child is not responding verbally, then our speech & language therapist seeks alternatives for verbal communications.
When Does My Child Need Speech Therapy?
We have observed that many parents don’t know about their child’s behavior till they grow up bigger, but one should notice their child’s development as they turn 1. Normally, When a child turns one, the child should recognize their name and respond to simple directions like come & go. By their second birthday, he/she should be able to use one or two-word phrases or understand simple questions.When you find your child’s development atypical, straightly consult your doctor or consult a speech & language therapist.
Some of the things you should keep a check before consulting a speech therapist:
- Mispronouncing vowels: Check your child’s pronunciation. A normal mispronouncing is when your child speaks “Baf” instead of a bath or “amal” instead of an animal. But if they cannot pronounce the vowels right then they may have a problem in articulation for that you need to consult a speech & language therapist
- By your child’s second birthday, your child needs to speak full sentences but even if they can’t speak phrases for example, if your child says “Water” instead of “I want water” then consult a speech therapist. Our speech therapist helps the child to join the words and speak sentences with meaning.
- By turning three a child should answer the question completely. If your child repeats the question for example “Do you want food”? And if they repeat “want food“ then, this can be “Echolalia”, an early symptom of Autism. If you find such symptoms then you should consult a speech & language therapist.
- You need to observe your child’s vocabulary month to month, as your child grows, his/her mind develops as well. So, if your child is restricted to limited vocabulary, for example, if they are not active to catch new vocabulary and are repetitive to old vocabulary, you need to consult a speech therapist in Lucknow
How does speech and language therapy work?
- The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) is done to ascertain the level of skill in various areas relevant to the development of language and speech.
- Therapy is done based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA is a teaching technique language that has proved most effective and scientifically backed. (Parents should confirm that the person who is practicing ABA holds a certification and duly trained / or works under the daily supervision of a certified ABA professional. Wrong practices may not yield results.) The Child’s motivation and cooperation is the key factor in teaching language.
- Generalization of the learned skill (language and speech) through home programs. The child should be able to use the language in different settings. Besides the center training, parents are provided a home program to help the child in generalization.
What are the speech therapy techniques for autism at home?
We would suggest you consult a speech therapist before attempting any tips, that’s why we are suggesting you some basic tips using which you can handle any tricky situation with an Autism child.
What are the exercises in speech therapy for autism at home?
Our experienced speech therapist knows exactly which exercises suit best for the child as autism impacts differently to different people. Consult an experienced Autism Therapist before attempting any technique as this can turn to be a serious problem when unnoticed.