What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) known as autism is a condition in which people have a hard time with communicating and utilizing social skills. Additionally, they may repeat behaviors or have narrow interests. A bilingual speech pathologist can help with autism related speech disorders.
The Struggles in Social Settings
Autistic individuals struggle communicating with others in society. They also struggle with many underdeveloped social skills. It’s very difficult for them to have casual conversations in a social setting. Autistic individuals may not always pick up on social cues in a public setting.
The spectrum of people with autism can range from not speaking at all to others having no problem speaking. Overall, however, there’s always some form of challenge around communicating in a social setting and meeting new people.
Symptoms and Signs
Autism can present on a wide spectrum ranging from mild to severe. This severity is determined by the number and degree of impairments and challenges in everyday life.
When looking at characteristics of autism in children, the signs are sometimes not hard to notice. Other times it is very difficult and autism may not be recognizable until the child is much older. Even then, it can go undiagnosed into adulthood. The symptoms and signs can change as the person grows up, but the common denominator is that there will always be factors that make it challenging when communicating in social settings.
Communicating with Others
When an autistic person communicates, very often there is difficulty in using hand gestures like waving. This is complicated by using words in addition to gestures. Many times people with autism can struggle to follow directions or have trouble understanding what they’ve just read. Conversations can also be difficult for this population.
Sometimes they may not be able to retain words that they learned early on in their childhood, and as a result they are difficult to understand. They can also present with something called echolalia, which is when they repeat words or phrases that they heard. Another trait is that they use behaviors instead of words or gestures to communicate what they want.
Autistic people often find that making friends is the hardest part about connecting in a social setting. They have challenges unlike so many others and may have trouble expressing those challenges.
A person with autism may hyperfocus on an object that somebody else possesses. It can be tough to play with other children and share their toys. They have trouble understanding how other people feel. They may also have difficulty taking turns while playing,taking turns in a conversation, and keeping friends. It is apparent that this can cause some major roadblocks when interacting with others.
How Do You Know If Your Child Needs to Be Seen by a Professional to Test for Autism?
Diagnostic testing is usually completed by a team of professionals, including a bilingual speech pathologist. Depending on the severity of the case, it can be a complex process. However, a competent bilingual speech pathologist can recognize autism-related speech disorders and effectively assist in uncovering areas of strength and weakness.
Treatment for People with Autism
When talking about young children who have autism the best plan is to reach out and get help early on, find out what early intervention and preschool programs are available to you.
Preschool-aged children aren’t the only ones who benefit from treatment. Adolescents and adults with autism also are greatly helped. This allows them to do better work in school, at their jobs, and in the community. There are a number of specialists who might work with a person with autism over the course of their treatment. Some of these specialists include SLPs, audiologists, special educators, job coaches, vocational counselors, and psychologists.
Speech-Language Pathologists or SLPs are particularly important when working with autistic individuals. SLPs have the expertise to effectively build social skills and communication within different settings. Some of the skills SLPs teach are:
- Getting along with others.
- Interpersonal communication.
- Moving from one task to another.
Choosing the Right Bilingual SLP
Choosing the right bilingual speech therapist can really make all the difference when looking to address an autism-related speech disorder.
At Ms. Paula, SLP, we take pride in providing professional and compassionate in-home speech therapy services to all our clients. We believe that children respond best to therapy from the comfort of their own homes. If you notice any signs of your bilingual child experiencing language difficulties, feel free to reach out to us to discuss in-home speech therapy near you.
Learn more about our Spanish speech therapy or click here to contact us.