Autism in children has several related conditions and symptoms. Some of them include challenges in social communication and verbal speech. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is the most effective treatment of autism’s symptoms and can help children on the spectrum work on their ability to communicate. Speech therapy can take that progress a step further and help children overcome their speech-related challenges. In this post, we’ll discuss ABA and Speech therapy for children with autism.
Speech and Communications Challenges
Since autism’s symptoms manifest differently in each individual, their speech and communication can be affected in varying levels of severity. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Being unable to communicate verbally or with extreme difficulty
- Mumbling or stuttering, especially when under stress
- Challenges with socialization and expressing emotion through speech
- Developing verbal tics
With intensive ABA therapy, some of these challenges can be tackled or maintained early on. This is especially true if the children begin receiving treatment shortly after diagnosis.
ABA Therapy on Verbal Communication
ABA therapy is most effective in a center-based format, and it’s imperative that children on the spectrum are enrolled in services early for maximum efficacy and the successful management of their symptoms. ABA is so effective because it addresses the roots of these challenges with positive reinforcement, individualized treatment plans, and plenty of practice with skilled Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Registered Behavior Technicians.
ABA helps support children working through behavioral challenges and also provides a safe space to hone communication skills for both verbal and nonverbal children. Through targeted speech therapy, this development can be drastically improved and change the trajectory of a child’s ability to speak and communicate moving forward.
Speech Therapy’s Benefits
Speech therapy uses a variety of methods to teach and improve a child’s communication skills through very careful practice. Some of those techniques include:
- Matching emotions with facial expressions
- Strengthening face and jaw muscles associated with speech
- Learning to understand body language
- Learning to respond directly to questions and when being addressed
- Practicing tone of voice
- Matching images with sounds and words
- Honing social skills
For some children with severe speech impairment, speech therapy will consist of learning methods of Alternative Augmentative Communication (AAC), such as sign language, speech output devices or Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS). The use of AAC requires plenty of practice to perfect and communicate effectively. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional if you think speech therapy is right for your child.
At the Place for Children with Autism, we also offer The Place for Speech. A speech therapist travels to all of our Chicago locations and provides evaluations and speech therapy services for children who need this additional service.
For more on speech therapy, ABA, and autism-related news visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter! If you have questions regarding ABA therapy services or you’re interested in visiting one of our locations, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our contact page. We’re always here to answer your questions and support your family’s needs as best as we can.