30 Jun Focus on communication from the day you notice a speech delay!
Each autistic child is different. Each autistic child has different challenge or should I rather say each autistic child has a different level of challenge.
Every child with a diagnosed AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER is completely different and they will therefore all have different communicative strengths, needs and/or weaknesses.
It is for this reason that it is impossible to set forth one single therapy plan or intervention plan for all children particularly when it comes to speech and/or communication therapy.
What we do know is that: “We need to establish functional communication” …
Your first goal for your child should be communication! This sounds harsh because one would think that speech would be the first goal?
Let me clarify. Speech is always going to be the focus but developing speech is not a light-switch activity and it could take years for your child to speak fluently and/or develop any form of functional speech.
Therefore waiting for speech or working only on speech therapy and speech intervention in isolation is going to cause frustration for your child. A new born cries when they need food – it is their way of communicating their needs. What will your 2 year old, 3 year old or 5 years old do if they can not speak?
Your child needs you to work on communication from the day you identify the speech delay!
This means giving your child access to tools that will help them communicate functionally and spontaneously – whilst you continue to address their vocabulary development or motor apraxia with a SLP (Speech Language Practitioner).
For early communication development- placement into a specialist early intervention centre such as Amazing K is recommended.
The Amazing K toddler early intervention and remediation program specialises in speech delays and language difficulties in young children.
Not just in children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder but also Verbal Dyspraxia’s and Speech Apraxia. A big part of our curriculum includes the introduction off a variety of AAC (Augmentative-alternative communication) methods from a young age.
- Voice output AAC Devices. – which are basically devices that will speak a message when the child pushes a button o hits a switch;
- Picture communication system (PECS) – which is basically a system whereby the child learn to comucatice by pointing at a picture and/or by passing the picture to his/her communication parter or therapist/parent.
- Makaton Sign language – which is when a child uses their own body to communicate by using sign language.