What is the Contribution of Speech Therapy in the Treatment of Autism?

  • 7 August 2020
  • Posted by Yasminah Abdullah, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Comment

Speech therapists are professionally trained on how to treat language problems and any kind of speech disorder. They play an important role in an autism treatment team. After a proper screening and detection of the issue, a speech therapist helps to treat it or often refers to other specialists.

If autism is confirmed, speech therapists plan the best possible ways to enhance communication skills and thereby improve the quality of life of the person with autism. As speech therapy is not confined to only within the speech laboratory or office, he/she has to work with the family, educators, caregivers, friends, and other specialists involved in the treatment process.

There is a bounty of techniques used in speech therapy which might include the following:

  • Electronic speech devices
  • Picture exchange communication system that uses pictures instead of words
  • Finding and using specific techniques to fine-tune speech sounds to increase speech clarity (articulation of speech)
  • Carrying out regular exercises of lips and/or other facial muscles to improve articulation of speech
  • Composing personalized songs to improve the rhythm and sentence flow

Most of the above-mentioned techniques are unique as per the individual needs of the person. Therefore, it is advised to thoroughly discuss the plan of care with your speech therapist to get the best out of the treatment.

Benefits of speech therapy for ASD?

Speech therapy can treat varieties of communication issues however, in many cases, progression shows over time, and patience is key. Long-term therapy typically will improve the ability to communicate better and increase the quality of life of people with ASD.

The primary goal of speech therapy is to help the individual with the following areas:

  • Express words in a better way
  • Improve both verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Understanding the tone of the voice of others
  • Starting the communication on his/her own without prompting
  • Understanding the time and place to communicate something
  • Conversational skill development
  • Exchange of thoughts or ideas
  • Improving social language skills

What is the ideal time to start speech therapy for autism?

Considering that Autism can be one of the more challenging groups of symptoms in one’s life, it is always better to start the therapy as early as possible to get the best results. ASD should be diagnosed before age 3 and language delay can be noticed as early as 18 months of age. In some cases, autism can be identified within 10 to 12 months of age. This is evident that early exposure to speech therapy gives better outcomes. Many types of research have shown that speech therapy started at an early age leaves the greatest impact. Furthermore, the intense individualized procedure improves the condition to a much better extent.

To find a high-quality speech-language pathologist, select Total Speech Therapy in Baltimore, where you can better diagnose the condition of your child and get better speech therapy solutions. You can either drop an email at yasminah@totalspeechtherapy.com or even call us at 410-696-3301 for personalized suggestions.

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