How can speech therapy help children with Autism?

Speech Sense Speech Pathology, How can speech therapy help children with Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects the way a person makes sense of, and interacts with, other people and their environment. Autism Spectrum Disorder is present across the lifespan and impacts a person’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills, social interactions, patters of interests and behaviour, motor coordination and sensory preferences.

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder may have extraordinary talents in areas such as the arts, mathematics, science, and engineering. Speech pathologists are skilled in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of oral and social-emotional language difficulties present with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The Speech Sense Team has a multitude of experience working with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Our team offers individualised assessment and speech therapy targeting:

  • Difficulties with social-emotional reciprocity. This may look like awkward social approaches and poor initiation of interaction, and failure of back-and-forth conversation, reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect, and difficulty knowing how to respond to social interactions.
  • Difficulty using and regulating nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction such as difficulty with eye contact and body language, or deficits with understanding and using gestures, difficulty integrating verbal and nonverbal communication, and difficulty with facial expressions and nonverbal communicative attempts.
  • Difficulties with developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships. This may present with problems adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts, or difficulties with sharing imaginative play or making friends, and even little to no interest in peers.
  • Difficulties eating a range of foods. People with autism can be extremely selective with food preference sand choices. Research indicates that 46–89% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty with eating and mealtimes. This can be due to sensory defensiveness, a need for routine and sameness, and visual overstimulation. Additional problems like oral motor delays and swallowing and medical conditions may also contribute.

Members of the Speech Sense clinical team can evaluate your child to determine if they need feeding therapy. Feeding therapy is a specialty and requires additional training and experience.

The Speech Sense Team are experienced with oral and aided language stimulation, Key Word Sign, switching and Augmentative and Alternative Communication for children and adults with complex communication needs. We offer individual, and group therapy targeting difficulties with social-emotional language skills using current gold-standard evidence-based programs. Members of the team have Hanen It Takes Two to Talk and More Than Words certification.

We work closely with Paediatricians, Psychologists and allied health professionals including Occupational Therapists and Behaviour Therapists. The team are experienced in assessment and goal setting for optimal outcomes with communication and feeding, and routinely complete assessments for applications to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Need to know more?

Please get in touch to see how we can help, or to make an appointment at our Gold Coast speech therapy clinic.


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