Speech therapy is a type of treatment that uses sound, movement, and other methods to aid in communication. It’s typically used for individuals with developmental delay or autism spectrum disorders like Asperger’s Syndrome & Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). The results are often profound – it can increase IQ by 30-50 points and mathematical skills by 60%.
The “the results company” is a speech therapy company that offers the goal of helping children with autism to speak. This article will discuss the goals and expectations for this type of therapy.
Autism is a neurological condition that affects how individuals communicate, interact, and behave. Some autism symptoms are linked to specific behaviors. A few physical characteristics connected with autism include avoiding eye contact, swaying back and forth, and walking on tiptoes.
Some symptoms have to do with how a person speaks or listens to others. Speech-language treatment for autism focuses on these characteristics.
Goals for Autism Speech Therapy
The primary objective of autism speech therapy is to promote useful and effective communication. Professionals assist their clients in communicating successfully with others. In certain circumstances, therapists assist their clients in learning to listen attentively as well.
Clear communication is the result of a combination of talents. According to Autism Speaks, therapists may assist their clients in:
- Muscle development is important. Mouth, jaw, and neck muscles aid in good enunciation.
- Recognize the importance of nonverbal communication. People may benefit from sessions if they learn to correlate an emotion to a facial expression. Others may be able to decode typical body language.
- Speak loudly and clearly. Some sessions assist clients in producing clear sounds. Others assist customers in learning to modify their vocal tone.
- Make use of assistive technology. Instead of using their voices, some persons with autism choose to communicate through speech applications or visual books.
These are lofty ambitions that will take time to realize. While we’ve all heard tales of therapists who can make incredible changes in only an hour or two, it’s more normal for experts to work with clients for weeks, months, or even years to help them develop these abilities.
People with severe deficiencies may need more time than others. They’re beginning from zero, whilst others have a foundation of skills on which to develop.
Similarly, making broad comments about how much treatment is required or how long each session should go is a mistake. Autism affects everyone differently, and each person’s requirements must be met on a case-by-case basis. As a consequence, no two speech therapy sessions are similar.
Before starting treatment, question clinicians about the suggested program, according to Autism Speaks. Ask:
- How many hours of therapy do you propose each week?
- What is the duration of each session?
- What criteria will you use to assess your progress?
- What changes may we anticipate in the next week? Month? Year?
If you ask a lot of therapists these questions, you’ll receive a lot of different replies. If you listen carefully, you may be able to notice distinctions between programs and methods, which might aid you in making an educated selection.
What Is the First Step in Speech Therapy?
Autism treatment seeks to provide the greatest possible possibility for persons with autism to have a healthy and happy life. However, not everyone with autism begins in the same area. Some people have bigger deficits than others. Some people are concerned about their socioeconomic situation. Others will need cultural changes.
Therapists begin by figuring out where their clients are currently and where they want to go. They then create a treatment plan that is suited to each person’s specific requirements.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), speech-language pathologists evaluate their clients’ abilities using a number of formal and informal exams, including those that are:
- Linguistic. What is the person’s current language? How fluent is the person’s command of the language?
- Speech-based. What is the strength of a person’s motor speaking abilities? What is the person’s ability to communicate clearly?
- Mechanical. Is the individual able to swallow? Is the individual able to hear?
- Functional. Would it be more beneficial for the individual to communicate without using words?
The objectives of a client are also determined by therapists. What are the talents that are most important for enhancing your life right now? What lacking talents could have an influence on a person’s capacity to realize their goals and ambitions?
According to the National Institutes of Health, treatment options differ depending on age. The goal of treatment for young children with autism is to help them develop pre-language abilities. The following are examples of nonverbal abilities:
- Making direct eye contact
Older children with autism may concentrate on acquiring single words, after which they may construct whole phrases. Children may discover how language might help them conduct conversations as they advance through treatment. They might work on remaining on topic and allowing others to talk.
Some speech therapy sessions are held in a private setting. Clients meet with therapists at home or in an office to develop skills together. Experts think that group speaking sessions may help certain individuals. They may practice their talents with others in this group environment.
Regardless of how much treatment they get, some persons with autism struggle with spoken language. Their sessions may be so aggravating that they choose to throw a tantrum instead of learning.
This kind of person still has something to say. They may employ tantrums and vocalizations to communicate their main arguments. Therapy may be able to assist them in finding a new method to communicate.
Speech-generating gadgets may be used in treatment by speech therapists. They could even teach their customers how to utilize them. According to researchers, there are several gadgets like these, some of which perform better for some individuals than others. When selecting a gadget, personal choice must be taken into consideration.
A person using such a gadget may be able to communicate with the outside world more readily at the conclusion of the treatment program. Tablets, books, or phones may be all that is required.
Who is in charge of speech therapy?
Speech therapists are specialists that have undergone extensive training to support their practice. Many of them also have certificates that they may use to demonstrate their knowledge.
A person with autism could collaborate with a:
- a speech and language therapist (SLP). This individual has a master’s degree. This individual can now avoid, evaluate, diagnose, and treat speech, language, and swallowing issues because to their schooling.
- Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology for Speech-Language Pathologists (CCC-SLP). This individual possesses a master’s degree, clinical experience, and confirmation of passing a national test. This individual has also completed a clinical practicum, according to ASHA. This is a higher degree of education that qualifies these experts to care for and oversee other specialists in difficult instances.
These experts are trained to recognize and treat language issues in persons with autism. While your doctor, neurologist, closest friend, or distant cousin may have excellent ideas about which treatments could work and which won’t, only a trained specialist like this can design and administer a program that works.
How Can Parents & Loved Ones Help?
You may be ready and prepared to do practically everything to break through communication barriers with the person with autism in your life if you love them. You cannot create a program on your own. That is something that only an expert can perform. You can, however, do a lot to help the person you care about.
Some children with autism, for example, benefit from a kind of therapy known as crucial response treatment. This method encourages clients to communicate throughout the session, and therapists who employ it keep their tactics light and lighthearted. They could ask a youngster to identify a toy before handing it off, or to provide an order during a game.
Parents cannot create and execute such a strategy, but they may learn how it works and imitate it in their child’s daily life. For example, some parents may force a kid to identify a meal at breakfast, or they may urge a youngster to play “I Spy” in the vehicle in exchange for a treat.
Families with children with autism are well aware that science-based therapies are the best option. However, according to surveys, roughly half of these families do not select this kind of treatment. Rather, they employ therapies that have been suggested to them via websites, chats, and periodicals.
Work with a skilled speech therapist if you want to assist someone you care about with a speech problem. Inquire about how you may reinforce lessons at home and participate in the treatment plan. Assist the individual with treatment by being a helpful ally.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.