Severe deficits in language and communication is another core feature of autism. These deficits can range from mild to severe. Some children with ASD may not be able to communicate using speech or language, and some may have very limited speaking skills. Some have difficulties understanding what others say to them. They may also often have difficulties communicating nonverbally, such as through hand gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions. Others with autism may have rich vocabularies and be able to talk about specific subjects in great detail. Many have problems with the meaning and rhythm of words and sentences. They also may be unable to understand body language and the meanings of different vocal tones. These difficulties affect the ability of children with ASD to interact with others, especially people their own age.
If a doctor suspects a child has autism or another developmental disability, they will refer the patient to a speech-language pathologist. This is a health professional trained to treat individuals with voice, speech, and language disorders. The speech-language pathologist will perform a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s ability to communicate and will design an appropriate treatment program. In addition, the speech-language pathologist might make a referral for a hearing test to make sure the child’s hearing is normal. A behaviorist can also work on improving language and social skills.
Teaching children with autism to improve their communication skills is essential for helping them reach their full potential. There are many different approaches, but the best treatment program begins early. Most children with autism respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. Parents or primary caregivers, as well as other family members, should be involved in the treatment program so that it becomes part of the child’s daily life.
Local Speech Therapy Providers
Autism Society Options Policy
This Resource Guide was developed to provide families and professionals with an opportunity to find resources related to autism in the Inland Empire in one place.
All information provided or published by the Autism Society Inland Empire is for information purposes only. Specific treatment, therapy or services should be provided to an individual only at the direction of the individual’s doctor, caregiver, or other qualified professional. References to any treatment or therapy option, program, service, or treatment provider are not an endorsement by the Autism Society. References of treatments, therapies, programs, services, and/or providers are not intended to be comprehensive statements. You should investigate alternatives that may be more appropriate for a specific individual. The Autism Society assumes no responsibility for the use made of any information published or provided. The Autism Society Inland Empire provides information, but it does not constitute medical or legal information. Referrals provided are suggestions to organizations that might help, but do not constitute a recommendation. The Autism Society Inland Empire cannot be held responsible for consequences that arise from individual dealings with a professional or organization. The inclusion of any organization does not imply endorsement, and omission does not imply disapproval. The Autism Society Inland Empire may add or remove organizations from this list at its discretion.