Autism is a disorder in which a person faces difficulties in social interaction and communication along with repetitive and restricted behaviour.
The diagnosis of this disorder is done based on behaviour and developmental history. There are two methods used for the diagnosis of autism i.e. Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADIR) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).
Speech Therapy activities cover treatment of all speech disorders. Speech therapy for Autism is a specific Speech therapy technique used to treat children with autism. If you are a parent, consult your child’s speech therapist to know what suits your child.
Speech Therapy Techniques for Autism:
Speech therapy for Autism for children in early childhood:
- Try to build a conversational routine as it helps children in encouraging use of language. Simple conversational techniques like counting can help. When you have set these routines you can encourage your child to speak the final words. At this age, rewarding your children will enable them to be more attentive.
- In early childhood, the best way to develop speech is by encouraging them to imitate the sounds made by animals. Imitating animals sound develops an emotional connection as the children are affectionate towards the animals.
Speech Therapy for Autism for children in Preschool:
Preschool offers the right environment for language to be used in social environments. The children play together and evolve during their preschool period.
Playing games with the children will help a lot in developing the language as the children take an active part in the games. Speech therapy is not just limited to verbal communication but also to body language and gestures. While playing games, children will also improve their non-verbal communication.
Speech Therapy for Autism for children in elementary school:
This is the period when you can teach your children to label feelings with the help of cartoon and drawing. You must also teach the non-verbal responses and language associated with feelings.
Children are usually very curious at this age and want to know a lot of things. If your child doesn’t ask questions then teach them to ask questions. This will also help them a lot in the future. Being inquisitive helps in connecting with people and is beneficial in social situations.
Speech Therapy for Autism for children in middle school and high school:
Children will face much social pressure at this age as they start comparing themselves with other kids around them. If they lack behind in anything then this can lower their Self-esteem. Children with autism will find it extremely stressful during this period. At this point in life, you must teach your child about life-skills that will help them succeed in their life.
During the middle school and high school period, children can fall in an unpredictable situation which causes distress. This can be managed by practising to deal with such situations at home. You must talk to your child about labelling feelings, listening etc., which will help them to manage such situations when they are in social environments. Rewarding and complimenting the child after therapy will not only make them remember the things taught during the session but will also build their confidence. Hence make sure you compliment your child after each therapy session.
These speech therapy activities will not only help the child to deal with autism but also help them learn new things and life-skills that will help them in the long run. For children with ASD, speech therapy can dramatically change the life of the child if given with as per the advised routine.