Children with ASD have difficulty establishing communication. Therefore, the relationship between speech therapy and autism explains that professionals can be great allies. This the case of speech therapy, one of the ways of treating ASD that helps many patients.
Although ASD is a medical diagnosis, speech therapy also contributes to the treatment of symptoms. It can help, for example, with difficulty in expressing oneself and speech repetition patterns.
The difficulty of dialogue
Speech therapist Karla Batista explains how this occurs: “The speech therapist can assist the child from the diagnostic process by early identifying the signs that may indicate the risk for Autistic Spectrum Disorder.”
She also adds that identification does not come only when the child begins to speak, since “even before verbal utterance, the communication difficulties presented by children with ASD can be attributed to their inability to connect with the interlocutor. Inconsistent or even absent eye contact. ”
In addition to the difficulty of maintaining the connection, Karla explains, there is the impairment in shared attention. “Due to the restricted and repetitive pattern of interests and activities, the child has difficulty sharing the interests proposed by the interlocutor, so he does not enjoy the main function of communication, which is to make something common,” he says. So even before speech development, it can noted that children with ASD may not respond to nonverbal communication.
In addition to helping with diagnosis, the relationship between speech therapy and autism may be part of a treatment plan. It is important to involve families during the process, Karla puts it, but it is necessary to explain the difficulties. “The explanation to families comes first from recognizing the disabilities presented by the child starting from nonverbal aspects, precursors of verbal communication – eye contact and shared attention,” she says. It is also necessary to consider the child’s conviviality and explain the reason for parents’ difficulties in interacting with the child with ASD.
However, she says, treatment must be done gradually and naturally so that it is effective and contributes to learning. Forced interactions of caregivers are not as effective as contextualized ones.
Learning and inclusion
In addition to the difficulties in living together, the issues that children with ASD present with language can affect school performance. Because the auditory factor is a key part of the classroom learning process, difficulties in maintaining attention hamper information gathering. In addition, for socialization, it is important that the child can better cope with the dialogue.
Nevertheless, the alliance between speech therapy and autism can help with inclusion, says Karla. “The results of speech therapy intervention already experienced in my clinical practice are related to the expansion of eye contact, shared attention, functional use of language, verbal emission and improvement of melodic aspects of speech,” he says.
And did you know that visual aids can also help ASD patients with communication difficulties? Learn more about them here!
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