Speech Development Blog

Speech Therapy Ideas for Children with Autism

Speech therapy and autism

Speech therapy is usually centered on what is appropriate for the child such as age, developmental level, and learning style. Many children are first diagnosed with autism when they are in early childhood and since this is an essential time for language skills, speech therapy can help build meaningful interactions. Here are some ideas on how you, as the parent, can reiterate what they are learning in speech therapy at home:

  • If your child is non-verbal, try working on animal sounds instead of words. Many autistic children have a love for animals and this helps to build an emotional connection and draws their interest.

  • Routine is very important in a child with autism. Build conversational routines to help encourage language like reciting what you are doing and let him/her finish the sentence. For example, at the park, place your child at the top of a slide and say, “Ready, set….” And let your child complete the sentence with “Go!” When they do, reward them by going down the slide.

  • Autistic children may not turn toward their names. Since this is an essential communication skill, reward them every time he or she turns when you call their name.

  • Place favorite toys or foods just out of your child’s reach and encourage them to gesture or ask in some way to get the item. As they get better at this, encourage your child to take it to the next communication level, such as from gesture to verbally asking.

  • “More” is an important word for communication so encourage your child to ask for more of something, such as more crackers or more time to play.

For many autistic children speech therapy provides essential building blocks to a successful social life. Whether you home school or your child attends public or private school, speech therapy can make a dramatic difference in the life of an autistic child.

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Topics: speech evaluation, speech language therapy, speech therapy, speech therapy ideas, speech disorders, speech delays, autism, speech delay, speech therapy tips