Autism Speech Therapy

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What is Autism?

Autism Speech Therapy

Autism, also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a life-long developmental disability that affects how a child understands the world around them, relates to, and communicates with others. Because it is a spectrum condition, it affects each child differently. Some people on the autism spectrum do not speak verbally, while others love to chat and yet have difficulty with the nuances of interpersonal communication. In such cases, individuals will have trouble understanding jokes, common colloquial phrases, metaphors, sarcasm, even nonverbal cues.

Approximately 1 in 68 children (or 14.7 per 1,000 eight-year-olds) in multiple communities in the United States has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)[1] and while there is no cure, speech-language therapy for autistic children has never been more advanced.
[1]CDC estimates 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Mar. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Autism?

It is common for autistic children to follow a different developmental trajectory than their peers. Given that their brains work in different ways they will naturally acquire speech-language skills at their own pace. Autistic children have distinct or atypical ways of processing information and perceiving the world around them. Some autistic adults even report that they don’t think in language, but instead process thought as visual imagery or feelings.

Autistic children may exhibit the following symptoms and if you notice any of these early signs of Autism, contact your child’s pediatrician immediately to make an appointment to assess for Autism.

  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by 6 months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by 9 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 1 year
  • No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

For more information regarding the signs and symptom of autism, visit Autism Speaks.

What Causes Autism to Occur?

Researchers are still trying to understand the exact cause of autism, though we do know that both genetic and environmental factors influence brain development. That is not to say however that autism is caused by a person’s upbringing or social circumstances.

Autism Treatment

While there is currently no cure for autism, effective speech pathology intervention can help children acquire numerous social and communication skills that will support them for the rest of their lives. The focus and implementation for children on the autism spectrum is very different than the therapy carried out with children with other language delays and disorders.

A dedicated speech-language pathologist will work to coordinate the mechanics of speech with the meaning and social use of language. Based on your child’s verbal aptitudes and challenges, the therapist will design a curriculum of activities designed to help your child master spoken and nonverbal communication.

Therapy sessions may also incorporate themes such as speech pragmatics, which involve knowing when and how to use phrases such as “good night.” SLPs may focus on building concept skills and understanding abstract ideas such as “love,” “lots,” or “happiness.” Or they may reinforce conversation skills that build up a child’s ability to sustain a back-and-forth exchange rather than singular phrase production.

If your child is living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), finding a quality speech-language pathologist is a top priority. At Orlando Speech, our SLPs are experienced in treating a variety of speech-language disorders and do so with unparalleled skill and compassion. We are proud to provide mobile speech therapy services to the greater Orlando, Florida area including Dr. Phillips, Sand Lake, Lake Buena Vista, Ocoee, Windermere, Winter Garden, MetroWest, Oviedo, Waterford Lakes, Winter Park, and Maitland. Call us today to learn more about our autism speech therapy treatment programs.

Get Help For Your Child Today!

Our Speech-Language Pathologists Treat A Variety of Disorders With Unparalleled Skill And Compassion.

Phone Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Sat-Sun: Closed

If you have any questions about Speech Therapy, please feel free to contact us using the form below. We typically respond within 1-2 business days.

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