- Fay Smith
The Role of Speech Therapy in Helping Children With Autism Communicate Effectively in Schools
Statistics reveal that 1 in 36 children have autism spectrum disorder. This ratio is estimated by the ADDM (Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring) Network of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Research also shows that there are more boys with ASD than girls, although this condition affects all ethnicities and races. ASD has no known cure, but some researchers are pointing to speech therapy to help manage the symptoms associated with ASD.
So, how does speech therapy help parents of children with autism? What are the benefits of speech therapy, and how does it work? How can teachers and parents use speech therapy in raising their kids with autism?
This article overviews the role of speech therapy in helping children with autism, including how speech therapy benefits them. It also discusses how it can help teachers and parents manage the different symptoms related to this mental condition.
Autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder commonly diagnosed during childhood. This condition may manifest as different mental issues, from social communication and interaction issues and learning difficulties to distinct and repetitive behaviors that can cause problems in daily life.
Teachers and parents dealing with kids with autism have unique challenges that can be daunting. However, with the correct information, support, and processes, autism can be managed.
One of the telltale signs of autism is the delay in speech development in little children. You can visit this page for more information about speech delay. This article includes tips on how speech therapy can help kids with autism communicate effectively in schools.
How Does Speech Therapy Help?
Autism spectrum disorder is not a single condition. Just like a light spectrum have many colors, so does autism have many types. Some may have more prominent symptoms and behavioral patterns. In contrast, others have little to no visible manifestations of ASD, yet they have this condition.
Speech therapy is often one of the doctor-recommended initial treatments that parents and teachers consider when a child is diagnosed with autism. Speech pathologists work closely with autistic children's family, school, and other medical professionals to improve communication and, eventually, their quality of life.
The following are the benefits of speech therapy for children with autism:
Improves communication skills: Children with autism deal with different hurdles that limit their ability to connect with the world. One of these hurdles is difficulty in spontaneous communication.
Through speech therapy, kids are guided to slowly develop communication skills, which can lead to their ability to freely communicate their feelings, wants, and needs without problems.
Improves social skills: Kids with ASD may develop behaviors preventing them from gaining social skills. Peculiar gestures commonly seen in people with autism may lead to misunderstanding, social problems, discrimination, and even bullying.
Speech therapy aims to develop a child’s ability to communicate and interact with peers and improve the ability for casual conversation.
Children with ASD often have problems connecting with other people. By improving their communication skills, they can now relay their feelings to other kids, thus developing their social skills.
Reduces behavior problems: Kids with autism may have visible behavior problems triggered by speech development delay. The resulting behavioral issues may lead to misunderstanding, frustration, and embarrassment.
ASD involves a spectrum of behaviors that speech therapy can help. It may take some time to tailor-fit the treatment options to a child's unique needs. Still, a little persistence, patience, and love can make a big difference in a child's life.
Suppose a child can adequately inform others of their situation. In that case, it can create a bond between the person with ASD and their peers, strengthened by understanding.
Helps improve overall performance in school: ASD may impede a child’s academic progress. However, with the help of speech therapy and the development of proper communication skills, autistic kids may have a greater chance of tapping into their innate talents.
As kids with ASD learn to interact with others and join class activities, they may be able to manage their behavioral tendencies linked to ASD. As a result, their academic performance may also improve.
Support Groups That Offer Speech Therapy for Kids With Autism
Autism Society of America (ASA): The ASA has local chapters in most cities in the United States. The ASA staff are caring and loving people ready to manage support groups for families. ASA gives educational programs and other resources to help kids with this condition.
National Autism Association (NAA): This organization is run and led by parents focused on supporting and educating people, including children with ASD. The NAA also helps families how to help their children with ASD by offering programs, support groups, and education about autism.
Autism Vision of Colorado: AVC is a group with a mission to provide volunteer work to support children with ASD and their families. Autism Vision provides autism awareness and teaches parents how to help their kids with ASD. This support group started in 2018 and has grown considerably since then.
The Autism Support Network: This group is one of the support groups in the country that offer an active online community to support families and their children with ASD. People can join this community and get access to resources like online support groups, educational materials, and links to service providers.
Aside from these groups, parents can join small local groups. These groups usually have pages on social media where one can join a community.
Managing ASD is a collaborative effort between a parent, society, and the person with ASD. It’s only when the harmony between these three groups of people that a child might manage ASD successfully.
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya
Data & Statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorder
Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020
Autism Spectrum Disorder
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism spectrum disorder
Autism Society of America (ASA)
National Autism Association (NAA)
Autism Vision of Colorado
The Autism Support Network