Speech Therapy for Children with Autism
Speech Therapy For Autistic Children
Speech Therapy Works staff have gained experience working with children diagnosed with autism. We understand the unique needs of children diagnosed with Autism. We also understand the importance of family centered therapy when treating children . Our knowledgeable staff will answer any questions you might have related to autism and speech-language development. We will also help you access funding for speech therapy.
At Speech Therapy Works, we understand that there are many ways in which autism can substantially affect speech abilities, development of languages skills and social communication. Children with autism may have problems with both verbal and nonverbal communication. They may also find it very hard to interact socially. For these reasons, speech therapy is a central part of treatment for autism. Speech-Language Pathologists are a key part of the autism treatment plan. With early screening and detection speech therapists often lead the way in helping with the diagnosis of autism and in making referrals to other specialists. Children with autism may have one or more of these communication challenges:
- The child is non-verbal
- The child will often repeat what another person says (echolalia)
- The child has trouble with conversational skills, including eye contact and gestures
- The child lacks creative language
- The child has trouble understanding the meaning of words outside of their own context
- The child memorizes things heard without knowing what’s been said
- The child has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly
Red Flags of Autism
During a speech language assessment, speech therapists assess your child’s pre linguistic skills, receptive language, expressive language, play skills and social pragmatic skills. Based on initial observations and observations during therapy sessions, speech therapists can discuss atypical behaviours observed. We can help identify any red flags of autism and refer you to appropriate professionals such as a pediatrician who will then discuss next steps with you. To learn more about ‘red flags of autism’ click on this link https://speechtherapyworks.ca/news/autism-spectrum-disorders-red-flags/
The first step is to complete a speech-language assessment with one of our knowledgeable speech-language pathologists. This evaluation will identify communication, language, social skills and behaviour needs of your child. We will use formal testing, informal testing including clinical observation and play to gather information about your child’s unique needs. As each child with Autism is unique, we will develop individualized, family centered and personalized treatment plans to address communication, language, social and behaviour needs.
An appropriate treatment plan that meets the needs of the child and the family will be established during the assessment. Treatment will may include a combination of traditional speech therapy targeting articulation difficulties and language delay, augmentative and alternative communication, introduction of structure and management of behaviour difficulties (ABA and IBI therapy), parent training (e.g. HANEN) and group therapy for social skills training.
Financing Speech Therapy
There are different ways to access funds for speech therapy. You can check with your extended health benefits to get more information about your coverage for speech therapy. There are a few non profit organizations accepting applications for funding speech therapy. There are also a number of government funded programs that cover speech therapy. Click on this link to gain more information https://speechtherapyworks.ca/speech-therapy-funding-help/
To book an appointment, please call Speech Therapy Works at (416) 553-0729. There are no waiting lists!