Autism can create a variety of challenges both for your child and your family as a whole. Speech and communication difficulties can be frustrating for everyone as a whole, as well as holding your child back both socially and academically. Meanwhile, food selectivity and eating problems can make you concerned about the health of your child while making every mealtime a stressful, battle of wills.
Fortunately, you don’t have to cope alone. Speech and feeding therapy can help you find new and effective ways to manage these challenges and provide appropriate support to your young person.
Language and communication barriers can be a significant difficulty for people with autism to overcome. One of the biggest misconceptions about autism is that it affects every patient with it in exactly the same way. In fact, not only are autistic people individuals in their own right, but the way in which their autism affects them also varies tremendously. While one person may be completely non-verbal, others may have fairly advanced vocabulary but not understand body language and reading social cues. For this reason, every speech therapy program that we implement is based on the specific needs of the patient.
When your child first attends our facility, he/she will undergo an evaluation with one of our three, highly trained and licensed speech and language practitioners. This will enable us to identify their strengths as well as which areas they find challenging. This will help us to create individual goals for their speech therapy program.
There are a variety of skills that speech therapy may be able to strengthen in your autistic child, which in turn will help improve their ability to communicate with and better understand those people around them. These include:
- Building strength in the mouth,
- Making clearer speech sounds
- Matching a picture with its meaning
- Matching emotions with a suitable facial expression
- Modulating tone of voice
- Responding to and asking questions
- Sign language and other forms of alternative augmentative communication
- Social skills
- Understanding body language
By improving your child’s communication skills, we can help enhance their quality of life both now and in the future. This includes their day-to-day activities, their personal relationships, their academic potential and eventually, the various aspects of their adult lives.
There are a number of specific goals that speech therapy can help your child achieve. These include:
- Better articulation of words
- Communication: both verbal and non-verbal
- Developing conversational skills
- Enjoying communicating and interacting with those around them
- Exchanging ideas
- Improved understanding of the use of certain phrases,
- Initiation of conversation and communication rather than relying on others
- Self-regulating how and when they talk to others
- Understanding the intention of others from both language and non-verbal cues
However, it is important to bear in mind that not all of these will be applicable to every child, and our therapist will work with you to set realistic, accomplishable goals for your child based upon their individual circumstances.
The sooner that speech therapy is sought, the less likely your child is to be affected by speech and communication difficulties as they get older. Therefore, prompt diagnosis and obtaining the support your child needs could make a significant difference to their future.
Our team of therapists have more than 44 years of combined experience in helping children and their families with speech and eating disorders.
If you are concerned about your child and would like to consult with us, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment.