For many children on the autism spectrum, speech delays are common. Some individuals on the autism spectrum might not talk at all, while others have difficulty understanding body language or facial expressions. These social communication challenges can stand in the way of meaningful social connection. However, developing functional communication skills can help individuals on the autism spectrum create valuable relationships. Speech therapy is one tool that can help those on the spectrum improve their communication skills. At Camp Worth, speech therapy is just one part of our comprehensive autism spectrum disorder treatment program.
What Is Speech Therapy?
People with autism might have difficulty communicating. Even when children with autism love to talk, they might have trouble picking up on nonverbal cues. Therefore, speech-language therapy consists of specialized interventions to allow the child to gain appropriate communication, language, articulation, feeding, and oral motor planning skills. Speech therapy services also focus on functional communication skills using language building activities, therapeutic play, and facilitation of peer interaction. Some of the skills your teen will work while in our program for speech therapy in Fort Worth, TX:
- Non-verbal communication – This may include matching facial expressions to emotions and gestural communication
- Asking and answering questions – A speech therapist can teach your child how to recognize a question and appropriate answers to provide. They can also help your child ask and understand the answers to their questions
- Body language – Speech therapists can teach children how to recognize physical cues and others’ intentions
- Appropriate time and place – Speech pragmatics training can help your child understand when and where to say something (often referred to as “speech pragmatics”)
- Facial muscles – Exercises to strengthen the muscles in the mouth, jaw, and neck can help with nonverbal communication
Inflection – Some children with autism speak in a flat tone, but speech therapy can help them communicate more clearly with a more melodic tone
- Grammar – Speech therapists often work with autistic children to help them correct grammar mistakes
- Conversation skills – Children with autism might rely on statements they are familiar with rather than responding appropriately to their conversation partner
- Social skills – Better communication skills can lead to increased social opportunities. By working on social skills like questions, understanding nonverbal cues, and appropriate social distance, a speech therapist can set your child up for success
Speech Therapy in Fort Worth, Texas
Every child with autism has unique strengths and challenges. At Camp Worth, we believe each child with autism is worth the time, effort, and commitment to help them succeed in living their best life. We know that speech therapy is an important part of a comprehensive treatment program. When your child enters Camp Worth, we complete an assessment to determine what services your child needs and what goals we should have for treatment. While working with your child, our speech-language pathologist might use some of the following strategies:
- Signing or typing
- Picture boards with words
- Exercises for facial muscles
- Singing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences
Our experienced staff can find the right treatment program to help your child build better communication skills for life.
Contact Camp Worth Today
Camp Worth’s residential autism treatment program for teens includes speech therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Our treatment program combines speech therapy with applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy), occupational therapy, sensory integration, and medication management. Speech therapy can lead to improved social skills along with improved verbal communication, and those social skills can eventually lead to meaningful relationships.