Autism (also known as autism spectrum disorder or ASD) is a developmental disability that usually occurs before age 3. Since it’s a neurological disorder, it may cause impaired communication and impaired social interaction. Children with autism may face big issues with both speech and non-verbal communication. A child with autism may not talk at all, or utter harsh sounds, grunts or babble with word-like sounds.
Children with autism may also hum or talk in a musical way or may repeat or parrot what others say. They may also face issue in producing speech sounds to communication with others. This disorder may also cause problem with conversational skills and children may face issue in understanding the meaning of words beyond their context. And in some cases, they may also lack in creative language.
A child with autism –
Has to learn the way language is used to communicate
Has to know how to hold a conversation
Has to take verbal and non-verbal cues from others
Has to understand facial expressions, body language and tone of voice from others
That’s why a child with autism has to undergo speech therapy and get treatment at the hand of a speech language pathologist who specialises in treating speech disorders and language problem. The therapy can help children with autism articulate words well, learn to communicate both verbally and nonverbally and become able to grasp communication in different settings.
A speech therapy will also help in developing conversational skills among affected children so that they can enjoy quality of life. So, make sure your child with autism gets speech therapy as early as possible to add value to their life and make then learn the way to communicate.
Speech therapy for children with autism can benefit in many ways, including –
1. Develop the ability to exchange ideas with others
Speech therapy plays an important role in children with autism and helps develop in them the ability to exchange ideas with others. They will be trained to get better with both verbal and non-verbal communication. The therapy can help children learn how to express their needs and wants with anyone whether in the family or outside world. This is how the child will learn to build relationships with friends or peers and take a solid step towards enjoying a quality life.
2. Develop the ability to comprehend communications
Autism may impair the ability to understand what is said. Children with autism often find it tough to understand what others said or meant. Speech therapy can help in such cases and develop ability among afflicted children to understand both the verbal and non-verbal communication used for them or at them. The therapy will also teach how to recognize cues like facial expressions and body language. It will also teach how to start communication without waiting for others to do it. By the time the therapy ends, the child will have learned to comprehend communications easily.
3. Develop the skills to interact with peers and build friendships
Children with Autism often struggle to interact with peers which prevents them from forging friendships. They basically face difficulty with the spontaneity and randomness of causal conversations. Some may be comfortable with conversations on specific interest but struggle when the talk veers towards other things. Speech therapy can help a lot in such cases by imparting skills of mixing with other kids which can then before the foundation of friendships. This is will children with autism can achieve social success, play and interact freely. That’s why parents should never delay in seeking speech therapy when their children have autism.
4. Develop the ability to communicate in a coherent way
Children with autism may have bizarre learning patterns and faulty language processing. Thus, they may have problems developing spoken language. In some cases, they may not be able to communicate in way that others easily understand or grasp. From not able to break down spoken language into coherent chunks to repeating words without understanding their meaning, autism can affect communication in many different ways. Speech therapy however will help in overcoming such problems and consequently improve the way children talk with others. This is where a language pathologist can help and improve communication among children with autism.
5. Develop the ability to articulate words and sentences well
Kids with autism find it difficult to articulate words and put words into sentences. They may also find it tough understanding time concepts and abstract language that relies on context for meaning. They may also not be able to comprehend hints, idioms or indirect instructions in most cases. These are the issues where a child therapist can help and teach a child with autism how to communicate in an effective manner so that others can easily comprehend. That’s why you should benefit the child with speech therapy and let them enjoy life at fullest.