A Parents’ Guide to Autism Speech Therapy and Its Key Benefits

When it comes to treating autism, most parents are oblivious of the benefits of speech therapy. Apart from improving communication in autistic children, regular therapy can build confidence in these kids and help them connect with people socially. Autism throws a lot of communication challenges that are very hard to overcome in order to integrate into society. Having said that, autism is a wide spectrum in which different children are diagnosed with different problems to varying degrees.  Talking less, moaning, grunting and failing to make eye contact are some of the issues. However, in recent finding, autism speech and language therapy has been considered to be the most effective means to intervene autistic children and address these problems in a number of ways.

A brief about autism spectrum disorder or ASD

Very few parents are aware of autism spectrum disorder in kids. Parents often overlook some initial signs of interactive difficulties in small kids. So here is a small know-how about autism-

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be detected in children around the age of 3. It is mainly marked by impaired communication with a lack of cognitive skill but it also includes other peculiarities such as repetitive activities, inability to connect with the environment, unusual responses to certain things like touch and reluctance to accept changes in daily routine. However, there are some common speech and interaction problems that parents must take note of very early in their children. Some of them are:

  1. Babbling with words and uttering grunts or harsh sounds
  2. Using robotic-kind-of speech
  3. Repeating after a person
  4. Talking incoherently or using words in an unexpressive tone of voice

These challenges are faced by about one of three autistic children who have trouble making coherent speech sounds in order to interact with others. Apart from that, a person with autism has to deal with major communication challenges.

  1. Unable to make eye contact while talking to somebody
  2. Lacking the understanding the meaning of those words outside the context where they learned them before
  3. Unable to memorize things
  4. Lacking the knowledge about creating new sentences
  5. Unable to comprehend the meaning of words and symbols

To combat all these speech and non-verbal communication problems, speech therapy works effectively.

Benefits of speech therapy

Autism speech therapy works on a person’s overall communication improvement. It also improves their ability to produce understandable speech sounds and make social relationships. Here’s a look at few of its advantages.

  1. Helps articulate words properly: Since the evolution of autism speech therapy, there have been inventions and executions of lots of techniques. For example, electronic ‘talkers’ are often used for improving articulation. Speech Pathologists also recommend oro motor exercises of lips and facial muscles to help these patients to utter words appropriately.
  2. Initiate communication:  A very technique of using picture boards with words and their supporting pictures is a great way of helping a child to learn how to start a communication. This sort of procedure is called ‘picture exchange communication system’.  In fact this makes the entire therapy program very interesting for kids. As a result, they become capable of starting out a conversation without getting any prompts from others as well as understand another person’s intention while talking to him/her.
  3. Exchange ideas: One of the major communication difficulties for children is to express and exchange their ideas. In autism speech therapy, they learn to talk about their views and understand that of others in both verbal and non-verbal way. They are also taught to say something coherently keeping the appropriate place, setting and person in mind. For example, they learn when they have to say “Good morning” and when to bid “Goodbye”.
  4. Learn self-regulation: During the training, therapists give a lot of stress on a child’s ability regulate himself. They encourage children to sing songs to match the rhythm, stress and flow of sentences. Sometimes different sounds are used for a kid to whom he is under- or over-sensitive to so that these can compress and expand his speech patterns. This makes a great impact on his verbal exchanges.

All FAQs about Voice Therapy Busted Here!

Proper use of voice and well-maintained vocal folds are the two conditions for having good and uninhibited voice. However, it is not unusual for professional singers and voice providers to have vocal complaints, though their vocal folds appear normal. In such cases as this, vocal system is often diagnosed as the origin of the problem. Voice Therapy is, here, targeted towards treating this problem. Through specialized therapy a person with singing and loud speaking voice can have a holistic experience. Here what you might want to know!

What is voice therapy?

Voice therapy is a therapeutic approach to treat the hoarseness of voice and other vocal problems without surgery. The physical therapy with a few successive sessions is highly effective in eliminating the need for operation. There are two sorts of voice disorders such as behavioral and organic disorder that can be cured through a wide range of advanced techniques. While the first one relates to the abuse or misuse of vocal mechanisms, the second one involves problems arising out of vocal physiology. A skilled therapist introduces individualized exercises to relieve vocal strain and optimize the power of voice through proper training and education.

Who needs it?

Anyone who has a disease or injury in their vocal system can get a lot of relief with the help of voice therapy. Besides, those who rely mostly on their voices for living such as singers, teachers, anchors and orators can also be abundantly benefitted by the regular exercises and effective sessions under expert supervision.
However, in cases of complex voice disorders like polyps or cysts in oral system, voice therapy can turn out to be insufficient. Though this type of therapeutic treatment can eliminate vocal nodules completely, in critical conditions vocal surgery might be required. Now, for optimal outcome one must undergo a critical therapy side by side the surgery.

How does it work?

The therapeutic techniques range widely based on the diagnosis of a speaker’s voice and his speaking demands. Patients are often recommended to see speech pathologist for a thorough evaluation of the voice. The initial evaluation process includes a detailed family history, vocal habits assessment, and complete vocal assessment. Then the treatment starts with a hygiene program of the vocal system that takes care of the vocal musculature. After this some necessary exercises and educational training are provided for fast healing of the voice. These speech experts deal with each patient differently depending on their lifestyle and problems. For example, those with weaker voice are taught novel techniques to elevate vocal power and keep vocal tissues and muscles strain-free.

What are the benefits?

A voice therapy can work wonders for people having troubles with their vocal organs. Here are some of its benefits are laid down for a quick peep-through-

1. No more hoarseness of voice:  Teachers, lawyers, singers, coaches, clergy are some of the professions that demand high vocal actions. Therefore, they are always susceptible to stressing their oral and vocal muscles. This leads to the serious damage of tissues and destroy the capability of the voice. However, a speech expert treats this issue with therapeutic care and exercise training without the patient having to go through painful operation.

2. No swallowing difficulty:  Apart from the hoarseness of voice, the problem with swallowing difficulty if any is also resolved. The speech pathologists prescribe a few individualized treatment programs. A face-to-face training session, along with these, optimizes the healing process faster.

3. Strong vocal folds:  As the expert speech pathologists have unveiled more branches of voice therapy, many unfailing approaches coupled with medicinal methods have been brought into practice. These have not only increased coordination of vocal folds but also helped strengthen them.

4.Improved voice quality:  Those suffering from voice disorders can get extreme relief with these therapies after a surgery. In fact, people with gruff voice have got excellent result with regular sitting with experienced therapists. The programs are tailored to relieve different problems based on their nature. However, all these techniques and trainings, as a result, improve the voice quality and ensure absolute fluency in speech.

4 Things Parents Want to Know about Language Disorders and Their Diagnosis

Similar to speech impairments, language disorders make it difficult for kids to comprehend what they read or listen to. These disorders obstruct children from expressing their thoughts and feelings through proper articulation, affecting their social and learning skills. However, parents of these kids need not worry anymore since there are several ways to treat them effectively. But the first step to helping your child starts with knowing more about these disorders and their diagnosis.

What are language disorders?

A language disorder is an impediment in a child’s ability to speak or understand others. The difficulty to find proper words and make clear sentences lead to a major communication problem. The struggle to put thoughts into words often slows down the overall developments in kids.

Now, most kids learn to talk late but only a few catch up gradually on their own. But language therapists are insisting that it must be taken seriously if you suspect that your child is unable to grasp simple sentences and apply the right rules of grammar and language. However, it should be remembered that language disorders are not quite same as speech impairments or hearing issues.

Language disorders are classified under three categories, such as receptive language problem, expressive language problem and mixed receptive-language problem. While the first one indicates difficulty in understanding what others are speaking and the second one involves issues with expressing thoughts accurately, the third one relates to both- difficulty in comprehending and applying spoken language.

What causes language disorders?

Experts cannot still pinpoint the exact causes of language disorders but according to the extensive research they can be tracked down to some possible reasons.

  1. Hereditary:A recent study shows that 20 to 40% of kids who have a family history of speech and language impairment become prone to such language impairment as compared to 4% of those with no family history.
  2. Prenatal nutrition:After a survey language experts have found out that a baby is less likely to develop language disorders if the mother takes folic acid supplements at her prenatal state.
  3. Other issues:Premature birth, Down syndrome and autism disorder are also some reasons behind verbal and behavioral challenges faced by children at a very early age.

What are the symptoms?

Troubles with communication including speaking clearly, hearing properly and organizing information as heard from others are the basic signs of detecting language disorders. There are other symptoms as well that are only detectable in kids after the age of 3. They are-

  1. Having limited vocabulary in comparison with other children.
  2. Inability to express in simple sentences
  3. Having problems with uttering new yet easy words or understand them.

Can they be diagnosed through symptom analysis?

Language disorders can be treated through proper diagnosis and early intervention. If your kid is not as spontaneous as other kids and feels aloof, then you should watch out for the symptoms of verbal limitations, as mentioned above. From testing his reception of information to communication skills, his conditions will be assessed through expert observation and analysis. Once the evaluation is done, speech pathologists will start with various therapeutic treatment procedures that are just fit for your child.


Our Speech Pathologists

Highly trained professionals and the use of latest equipment and infrastructure. We design our services to be of maximum use to our clients. We want to help our clients reach their maximum potential, no matter what their speech, language or communication challenge. Better speech and communication improves life, and this is the ultimate goal of all our services.