It is not uncommon for individuals with autism to have communication difficulties. These difficulties naturally vary by case but can include not speaking at all; making grunts, shrieks, cries, or harsh “throaty” sounds; humming; babbling; and repeating the words of others. Speech therapy may benefit people with this neurodevelopmental disorder, especially those who begin the therapy at a young age.
3 Ways Speech Therapy Benefits Autistic Individuals
1. Improves Articulation
Speech therapy benefits autistic individuals who have problems forming words and sentences by exercising the facial muscles. Exercises may also include massaging the lips, singing songs, and listening to words and phrases at the right sound level. Many autistic people are sensitive to loud noises, so being able to listen to words, phrases, and songs at levels they enjoy makes it easier to learn. Some speech therapists recommend speech apps to help parents with autistic children work on articulation at home.
2. Increases Verbal & Nonverbal Communication
Both verbal and nonverbal communication skills often improve during speech therapy. Therapists may start with pictures instead of words to help autistic students form the correct associations and communicate more effectively. Students also learn tactics for managing repetitive actions that can interfere with communication, such as feet stomping and eye blinking. Those with stuttering problems also learn methods for controlling their speech and subsequently feeling less frustrated.
3. Helps With Social Skills
The ability to communicate with others helps many autistic individuals enjoy healthy social interactions and positive relationships. Speech therapy helps them learn social cues, such as when it is appropriate to say things like “Good morning” and “Have a nice night,” to further help with social skills. As they progress, students learn how to listen to others, exchange ideas, and interact with their peers. This helps autistic persons function at a higher level and, therefore, require less intensive care.
If speech therapy is right for your child, contact The Road Home Therapy Center in Church Point, LA. The physical, occupational, and speech therapists at this center offer the individualized care patients need to thrive. Call the therapy center that has served the region since 1978 today at (337) 684-6318 to schedule a consultation or learn more about the facility online.