How effective is speech therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder

Speech-related delays in children with autism and a list of potential signs that parents can look out for

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social communication and interaction, as well as behavior and sensory processing. Speech and language delays are a common feature of ASD, with some children showing delayed speech development or atypical language patterns.

Here is a list of some potential signs of speech-related delays/difficulties in children with ASD:

  1. Delayed or absent babbling: Typically developing infants will start babbling around six months of age. Children with ASD may have a delayed onset of babbling, or they may not babble at all.
  2. Delayed or absent words: Typically developing children will begin using words to communicate around 12 months of age. Children with ASD may have a delay in their first words or may not start using words until much later.
  3. Echolalia: Some children on the spectrum may repeat words or phrases that they hear, either immediately or at a later time. This is called echolalia and can be a sign of delayed or atypical language development.
  4. Limited vocabulary: Children with Autism may have a smaller vocabulary than their typically developing peers. They may have difficulty learning and remembering new words.
  5. Difficulty with social communication: Children with ASD may also have difficulty using language to communicate socially. They may not be able to initiate conversations or may have trouble maintaining back-and-forth communication.
  6. Atypical language patterns: Children with ASD may use language in unusual ways, such as repeating the same phrases over and over, or using complex language structures without understanding their meaning.
  7. Difficulty with nonverbal communication: Children with ASD may have difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as making eye contact, using facial expressions, or understanding body language.

It’s important to note that not all children with Autism will exhibit all of these signs, and some children with ASD may in fact have typical or advanced language development.

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Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.