Samantha Schupack, a speech pathologist discusses the ways to detect and treat a speech delay. She describes the incredible progress JohnHil, a child on the spectrum, has made in only 3 months of speech therapy. In addition to helping JohnHil learn to make and imitate sounds and understand the meaning of words, Samantha also works with him on general communication and pragmatic speech, which refers to the ability to communicate beyond language such as through a game or cooperative activity.
"Some advice I would give to parents if they have just recieved a diagnoses... the more you advocate for your child...and the earlier you can get in there, the better the results will be. "
— Samantha Schupack
Early Warning Signs related to Speech Therapy
Dr. Smith descirbes the many components that must be coordinate to carry out a simple request, including eye contact, communicative speech and gesture. Given that eeach of these skills may be challenging for a child with autism, many children with autism may chose to act for themselves, before they think or attempt to request help from others.
Dr. Smith describes the differences in the intonation, rate or volume of speech found in some children with autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Smith describes the first symptoms and concerns typically reported by parents of children on the spectrum, including a lack of pointing, delayed speech, poor eye contact, difficulty being soothed and a lack of attachment or connection to their caregivers.
Therapies related to Speech Therapy
Lack of communication is one of the warning signs of autism. In this clip, Christian is shown during a one on one speech therapy session with Christine Lenahan, a Speech Language Pathologist at his School. Ms. Lenehan explains how helping Christian communicate involves teaching him to use gestures, signs and eye contact as well as eye speech to express his need and wants. She compares Christian's development to that of his typically developing peers, who are shown using short phrases, eye contact and gestures, such as pointing, to communicate during a typical school day.
In this video Antonio and his therapist are working on communication skills with the PECS, the picture exchange communication system. To get the book he wants, Antonio must use the PECS to request it from his therapist. The therapist requires that Antonio build a phrase ('I want book') with his pictures as he would with words as opposed to requesting with a single word or picture ('book'). In this way, Antonio learns the structure and meaning of language despite his difficulties with speech.
The following clip portrays a speech therapy session with Jazmere, a young boy who has benefited substantially from ABA. Jazmere's progress is evident not only in his correct labelling of many action cards, but also in his use of many nonverbal cues to better communicate and engage with his therapist during the session. These cues include his frequent glances toward the therapist's face, his attempts to share pleasure and mastery of the task with her, his spontaneous attempts to engage her apart from the lesson content and his consistent use of pointing. This coordination of verbal and nonverbal communication reflects a clear change in Jazmere's motivation as well as his ability to communicate with others.
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