Many parents ask themselves, “Is late speech a sign of autism?” Studies show that children with autism develop speech patterns around 36 months, whereas children without autism begin picking up speech around 12-18 months. If your child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a speech therapy program can help improve their communication skills and help them lead a more independent life.
At Camp Worth, we help frustrated teen boys and girls aged 11-17 with their communication skills. We understand that most of their frustration comes from not being able to express themselves. That is why our speech therapy program is such an essential part of their development. Learn more about delayed speech and autism when you call 855.915.2545 or fill out our online form today to contact our staff about our speech therapy program.
Understanding Delayed Speech and Autism
If your child is not diagnosed with autism, there may be a physical problem with their tongue, jaw, or palate. They may suffer from elective mutism, where they simply choose not to speak, or other neurological disorders like cerebral palsy or receptive aphasia. Sometimes twin siblings will have one child develop their language skills later than the other.
Children who are diagnosed with ASD have specific speech-related symptoms. If you think your child may have autism or you want an answer to the question, “Is late speech a sign of autism?” some speech-related symptoms include:
- Language development does not start until after 18 months
- Signs of echolalia, which is the repeating of words or phrases
- Slow or no response when their name is called
- Speaking only single words
- Fails to or is slow to gesture
- Communicates better with pictures, symbols, or sign language
Symptoms of delayed speech and autism can begin as early as 12-18 months, yet diagnosis usually does not happen until 24 months. It is crucial to get your child tested as early as possible if you suspect they have autism, especially if you are asking yourself, is late speech a sign of autism?
Helping Your Child with Delayed Speech and Autism
There are fun games and activities you can do at home with your child that will help develop their language skills. There is no typical level of speech development for children with autism. Language development ranges from high-functioning children will speak fluently to others who only speak a few words.
Some methods to improve your child’s communication skills include:
- Encourage social interaction and group activities. Children with autism learn best through playing. Engage in activities like singing or reciting simple nursery rhymes and poems. Play word association games with visual aids with the word you teach them.
- Mimic their actions. When working on things like pronunciation, exaggerate the way you speak so they can see and mimic your actions. This can help them better pronounce words that are difficult for your child.
- Be patient. Sometimes a child with autism will speak, but it may take longer for them to respond. When asking a question, give them plenty of time to talk. If you rush them, they can become agitated and make learning more difficult until they calm down.
- Use simple words when talking with your child until they develop more language skills. If they only give one-word answers, give a one-word question or response. This is another form of mimicking that will grow along with your child’s development.
- While your child is playing, use simple words to describe what they are doing. This can help them verbalize activities they want to do, as well as ask for a favorite treat or toy.
Find Support for Teens with Delayed Speech and Autism at Camp Worth
At Camp Worth, we help teens aged 11-17 develop their language skills no matter their level of development. Our behavioral therapists have experience working with all levels of communication, including non-verbal. Our speech therapy program gives teens a chance to learn new skills and practice them in a safe and encouraging environment. If your teen needs help to develop their language skills, complete our online contact form or call 855.915.2545 today to learn more about our speech therapy program.