What is Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder and its Treatment?

  • 6 October 2020
  • Posted by Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Comment

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the pervasive developmental disorders that may appear at an early age of approximately 3 years old in children. It is a kind of neurological disorder that affects the communication, behavioral, and social interaction skills of a child. Autism proliferates a wide range of problems such as:

  1. Communication impairment
  2. Unusual sensitivity
  3. Repeated behaviors 
  4. Stubbornness
  5. Social interaction difficulties

Sometimes by look, it might be difficult to point out a person with ASD but when it comes to speech and activity, they may face a lot of difficulties. They seldom socially interact well. That is why speech therapy is the core part of the treatment of autism. Because it improves the communication skill of people with autism.

Here it is important to understand the most common speech and communication impairments of autism. It may affect an individual in many ways, such as speech, language, social interaction skills, etc.

Speech problems may include some or all of the following:

  1. Unable to talk
  2. Makes unusual harsh sound
  3. Talks in an unpredictable way
  4. Makes robotic sounds or speaks unrecognizable words
  5. Speaks in an inexpressive tone

Normally, 33% of people with autism have difficulties producing sounds effectively to communicate. Even if the person has the language, it is very hard to understand.

Communication challenges a person with autism may include:

  1. Lack of eye contact and gesture
  2. Difficulties with understanding  the words they have learned
  3. Using expressive language in a functional manner
  4. Remembering words
  5. Understanding the meaning of words
  6. No creative language

Because of these issues, it is helpful for a person with autism to do plenty of speech and language exercises to increase communication and social interaction skills. The person has to be imparted with intensive training to communicate with the use of appropriate and/or functional speech and language. Speech therapy includes learning skills to be able to answer questions and participate in a conversation and to understand both verbal and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, etc.

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