ABA Toronto addresses the communication needs of its clients by providing Speech Therapy (ST). Speech Language Pathologists provide speech and language therapy with the aim of improving all areas of communication for an individual with ASD. Speech Therapy sessions are tailored to each individual client’s specific needs, and are designed to engage and appropriately challenge our clients based on their unique abilities and circumstances.
Speech Therapy sessions may cover the following areas: comprehension, expression, sound production, and social use of language. Additionally, therapy may also involve the teaching of sign language, or the incorporation of the use of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which utilizes picture symbols as a mode of communication.
For many children with autism, communication can be challenging. Possible signs and symptoms may include:
- Limited or lack of verbal speech
- Difficulty expressing needs and wants
- Echolalia (repeating a word or phrase that has been previously heard)
- Loss of words that the child was previously able to say
- Inability to identify objects (poor vocabulary development)
- Difficulty answering questions
- Limited attention to people and objects in environment
- Poor response to verbal instructions
- Disruptive behaviors to gain access to or avoid items, activities, people or places
Communicating during social situations may also be a challenge for individuals with ASD. They may have a difficult time interacting with others, appear to have little or no interest in making friends, or not know how to interact with others in a social manner. In addition, individuals with ASD may have difficulty understanding the emotions of others and may respond inappropriately. This may lead to misunderstandings in the communication exchange.
Sensory issues can also effect communication. There may be certain sounds, tastes or sights that cause anxiety or provoke an unusual response. The response may not make sense to others because the individual with autism does not have the tools or ability to appropriately communicate the reasons for his or her response.