Speech Therapy for Autism has been touted to be one of the most significant and beneficial therapy that has advanced over the years. All of us need to communicate and effective communication is the key to a balanced and healthy life. Communication can be verbal or non-verbal, both equally vital to express one’s ideas to others. People with Autism often lack the art of communication and thus speech therapy for Autism enables them to do so more effectively.
A speech therapist along with other experts and caregivers help a person on the autism spectrum by removing communication barriers and bringing in a better flow to speech and expressions. This helps a person convey and express messages in a better manner.
It is important to understand that speech and language are not the same; in fact, they are two distinct components of communication. Language is a form of communication that expresses thoughts, feelings and needs to others verbally or non-verbally. Verbal language uses vocal symbols and non-verbal language uses body movements, gestures, facial expressions etc.
Speech on the other hand may be obstructed when a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or easily and has problems with the voice. Common speech disorders include:
- Disfluency like stuttering, repetition of sounds/words/phrases, interjecting extra sounds, using longer words, pausing in between, tension in the voice or sounds.
- Articulating disorder like distortion of sounds, substituting/leaving/adding or changed sounds.
- Voice disorders like harshness, voice break in or out, sudden change in pitch, too loud or too soft, hyper nasality or hypo nasality.
When either speech or language, or both, are affected it leads to communication disorder and the person is unable to communicate effectively, understand correct application of language and speech or have engaging discourses with others.
Working with a speech therapist for autism helps build language and speech skills, thus enabling a person on the spectrum to convey and express thoughts, ideas and feelings. This prepares the person for a better and independent future and makes them capable of communicating with the world.
Communication forms the basic foundation of human life and disorders in speech or language can come in the way of life. It is extremely important to work with an expert speech therapist for Autism to build confidence and remove any barriers that may come in a person’s life. Speech therapy can be started from a very young age as signs and symptoms can be noted early too. You can gauge common symptoms like delayed language abilities, difficulty with learning new words, repeating certain phrases or words unnecessarily, inability express one’s own needs etc.
Speech and language development starts right at birth. It encompasses both the ability to hear and understand, and talk. By the age of 5, most children are able to express themselves and have built a foundation for effective communication. If there is a delay or if a child is unable to do so it is always recommended to consult a speech therapist and begin therapy, if required, as soon as possible.