About how a speech therapist can help a child with autism
Early intervention is important for children with Autism. As autism usually includes difficulties in social interaction skills, communication skills, or the presence of stereotyped behaviour, interests and activities, a speech therapist is qualified to help children maximise their skills in these areas.
What are the areas a speech therapist can help with?
Speech and Language therapy can help with a broad range of difficulties associated with communication. These may include the mechanics of speech production or the meaning and social use of language. Some children with autism do not speak. Some children enjoy talking but have difficulty engaging in conversation or understanding the subtle nuances of everyday communication.
A speech therapist may help with:
- Non verbal communication skills (e.g. gestures or sign)
- Building vocabulary and expressive language skills in order to convey needs, wants or opinions. This may be done through pictures, signs or words.
- Supporting a child’s skills in social interactions and engagement
- Training parents and families in strategies to help a child with autism
Increasing awareness of Autism and educating families and friends about autism is also a big part of a speech therapist’s role. This is a great short film that aims to teach school aged children about acceptance and understanding of their peers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Therapy is expensive, how can I afford it?
One of the key options is accessing the Helping Children with Autism package.
The eligibility criteria for children to access the Early Intervention funding is:
- Eligible children are those aged zero to six years who have been diagnosed in Australia with an ASD
- A child must have been seen by an Autism Advisor and deemed eligible to access the service before their sixth birthday
- Funding of up to $12,000 (maximum of $6,000 per financial year) can be accessed until the child’s seventh birthday
If you have any questions regarding helping children with autism or funding for speech therapy session please contact us. Call 1300 123 368 Sydney.
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our speech pathologist Jenna Butterworth who is a Speech Pathology Australia member.
There are a number of options available to families. You can find more information about funding for speech therapy here: www.entwellbeing.com.au/speech-pathology/autism-spectrum-disorder-sydney/funding
For more information
NSW Autism Spectrum Australia – Aspect. Call 1300 978 611 or (02) 8977 8345