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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

How Speech Therapy Can Help Autistic Children?

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Dr. Murli SinghSpeech Therapist • 23 Years Exp.Hon.PhD - Speech Language Pathology, M.A, B.Ed .SE . ( H.I )
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Autism is a kind of developmental disability, which usually crops up before a child attains the age of 3. It is just part of a group of neurological disorders, which involve impaired communication along with impairment in social interaction and cognitive skills. It is better known as Autism spectrum disorder, it might well be linked with a wide variety of traits.

The traits include:

  • Activities done on a repetitive basis.

  • Extreme level of resistance to changes brought about in daily routines.

  • Very unusual reactions to things like touch.

  • Problem having interactions with the environment.

Children suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder can have some of the major problems with regard to both speech and carry out communications in a non-verbal manner. Social interactions might also become very difficult propostions for them.

This is where, speech therapy comes to the rescue of these patients. It is the central part of treatment for autistic children. The speech therapy can help take care of a wide variety of communication problems occurring among people with autism.

Common Speech and Communication Problems Associated With Autism

Social communication, development of language and speech can get adversely affected by autism in more than one way.

A person with autism can have the speech problems, wherein they may:

  • Not communicate at all.

  • Tend to utter cries, grunts, shrieks, harsh or throaty sounds.

  • Talk or just hum in a musical manner.

  • Utter words, might can sound to be alien or robotic.

  • Often look to repeat whatever another person says.

Around 30% of people, suffering from autism has problem in producing speech sounds to ensure effective communication with others. The language, even if it is present, can be too difficult to be understood by others.

Communication problems can occur in various ways, for people who suffer from autism. The challenges faced by them while communicating are as follows:

  • Communication requires a person to make eye contact with another person or even make certain gestures. People with autism will have serious trouble in meeting up with the conversational skills.

  • They would have difficulty in understanding the meaning of words, which are out of context from what they have actually learned.

  • They would have very little understanding of the meaning of words and symbols.

Treatment through Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can help children get rid of the problems in speaking, as well as those related to communicating and interacting with others. This involves non-verbal skills such as making direct eye contact, taking initiative in conversations and understanding of different kinds of gestures.

This therapy can also teach children the art of expressing themselves by using picture symbols, computers or through sign language.

Five Principles of Speech Therapy

There are basically five principles used as a framework, to work upon in speech therapy with children, suffering from autism. They include:

  • Establishing Functional Communication In A Spontaneous Manner

  • Providing Social Instruction in Different Settings throughout the Day

  • Target Peer Interactions

  • Even Provide Training and Support to Other Adults

  • Look to Fine Tune Communication Skills as Other Areas Improve.


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