Many children with autism experience difficulty in language development . Many children that we work with begin therapy and are non-verbal. Others have some language, but may not use it functionally. Others may be fully verbal but unable to relate to others and interact socially. Our team is well trained across the spectrum of language development and we tailor individualized programming specific to your child’s needs. From getting children to learn to make sounds and shaping those sounds over time into words, to working on the pragmatics of language, early intervention is critical for children with autism to avoid the behavioral issues that can arise when communication deficits are prevalent.
Children with autism usually go through a period where they will repeat what they hear. This is called echolalia . During this time, children will repeat words that were just spoken to them, or words that they hear often, and engage in scripting of their favorite movies, etc. Although echolalia can be frustrating for both the child and the family, the child is practicing language and when intervention is targeted and delivered by highly trained therapists, echolalia will decrease and meaningful speech will replace it.
Even if your child has difficulties with communication and language, it is essential that they, and every individual, develop communication skills that allow them to meet their basic needs and wants. As a parent, it’s important to reinforce behaviors that promote independent communication. At The Behavior Exchange, we focus on verbal language with supports and can teach you valuable ways to facilitate language development, all day, as part of your child’s natural routine. Find out how we can help your family learn these techniques by visiting our website or calling us today at (972) 312-8733.
Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA