6 Ways Speech Therapy Can Help Your Child With Autism

Parents searching for the best autism treatment in bangalore for their children will know that Speech Therapy is one of the first recommended courses of action. Since children with Autism often find it difficult to communicate and interact in social situations, Speech Therapy can help them enhance their communication skills and process social cues. It is essential to know that every child with Autism has different needs and will respond to different kinds of therapy. 

Understanding Autism

Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social, behavioral, and communicative abilities. People with Autism tend to have difficulties interacting with their environment and other people and often display impaired cognitive skills as well. While there is no cure, therapy helps them lead fulfilling lives that include social interactions, work relations, and even close emotional relationships.

Benefits of speech therapy for children with Autism

To help children with Autism, Speech therapists work with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals to find appropriate ways for them to communicate effectively. From using picture boards to convey concepts to composing songs that match the rhythm of sentences, there are multiple techniques that therapists may use. In addition to one-on-one therapy, moreover, speech therapists may engage the child in group therapy to help them practice better social interaction.  

Speech Therapy has multiple benefits for children with Autism, including:

  • Better articulation: Speech Therapy is invaluable for children who may be struggling with even the basics of language and expression. Lip exercises, pronunciation practice, and even facial massages can help them articulate words in a better manner. In addition to improving skills required for speaking intelligibly, speech therapists can also help children with Autism use expressive intonations to communicate better.
  • Improved understanding of non-verbal cues: Children with Autism who take speech therapy regularly are better able to understand cues like facial expressions, nods, eye contact, posture, and other things that often reflect what someone else is feeling.
  • Communication without prompts: Speech Therapy can help children with Autism understand the circumstances and the scenarios where they need to say things without being prompted. For instance, therapy can teach them to say ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon’ depending on when they are meeting an individual, or even to ask for anything that they might need such as permission to go to the restroom. 
  • Self-regulation: Just knowing what to say when can be hard for children with Autism. Even knowing when not to say something can be as much of a challenge. Speech Therapy can guide children through various social codes of conduct such as not criticizing someone to their face or not interrupting when someone else is speaking.
  • Exchange of ideas: Children with Autism often find it hard to think creatively and express their thoughts. Speech Therapy can help them participate better in situations that call for the exchange of ideas, such as discussing with other children what game to play next.
  • Better conversation: With regular Speech Therapy, children with Autism can overcome their inherent tendency to avoid or rebel against social interactions. As they learn how to participate in conversations, they can start enjoying the process of meeting people and talking to them about different things. The more successful conversations they have, the more confident they become and the likelier they will be to seek out social relations.

When to start Speech therapy

Typically, Autism Spectrum Disorder will manifest in your child before the age of three. You will also notice any language delays or abnormalities before eighteen months. The right time to start Speech Therapy is after your child’s sensory responses are regulated. Therefore, it should ideally begin only after they have received Occupational Therapy as that will help reveal greater results in their sensory integration system.

While Autism may make it harder for your child to fit in, early identification and availing of the Best Autism Treatment in Bangalore will help them develop the social skills they need to enjoy a fulfilling life. Be sure to ask the therapist any questions you may have about their techniques and to monitor your child’s progress so that you know they are receiving the best care possible.

The Importance of a Sensory Diet for Children with Autism

Do you ever catch yourself fidgeting during a meeting or going for a walk in the middle of the day to stay alert? When you do these things, you’re providing the sensory input your body needs to remain focused and attentive throughout the day.

For children with sensory processing issues, such as those with Autism, these needs are even more intense. Without proper exposure to stimuli, patients can struggle with being organized and in control, demonstrating appropriate behavior, or paying attention to their surroundings. 

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect social, behavioral, and communicative abilities. 

Several factors, such as genetic disorders, can influence the development of the condition. It is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and issues such as gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, and sleep disorders as well as depression and anxiety.

The best Autism treatment offers a full-fledged plan that addresses the symptoms of the patients as well as educates parents and caregivers about the management of symptoms and needs of their child. 

What Is A Sensory Diet?
A sensory diet is a carefully planned routine or series of physical activities and accommodations tailored to give each child the sensory input they need. Completing a routine can help children pay more attention to studies, learn new skills, and socialize with other children.

Although children with ASD are often overstimulated and require help to calm down or feel more alert, they are not always able to recognize when they must step back. Parents are advised to consistently implement a sensory schedule to allow their children to become more self-aware and exercise increasing self-control.

A sensory diet is typically planned and executed by an occupational therapist. They design the routine of activities to fit the child’s needs and schedules, taking into consideration the age, severity of the condition, and other important factors.

What Does a Sensory Diet Include?
A sensory diet usually includes a combination of textures, smells, visual cues, and exercises that ensures the child receives a multitude of stimuli. A set of one or more can be used and include:

Physical components:
Physical activities are the easiest to start with as most children tolerate movement better than any other type of sensory input. Activities that use the core muscles result in a greater amount of sensory stimulation and might include:

  • Wheelbarrow walking and somersaulting
  • Animal-themed walking (e.g bear walks, crab walks, frog jumps)
  • Using a trampoline
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  • Swinging in all directions
  • Mock wrestling
  • Sandwiching between soft items such as pillows or balls
  • Wearing a heavy backpack for movement
  • Playing with weighted items (rice bag on the lap while sitting or heavy blanket for sleep)

Tactile components: Playing with clay, slime, sand, shaving cream, birdseed, rice, or any other tactile products allows the child to get accustomed to various types of physical textures.

Visual components: Visual stimulation is important but needs to be planned carefully as it can often be overwhelming. Using torches to look at books, using dot-to-dots or mazes to narrow visual attention, and using solid colors in the child’s room are all good examples of a visual sensory diet.

Oral components: Specific toys or foods can be used to
supply sensory input to the mouth, jaw, and lips.

Auditory components: This can be in form of providing ‘white noise’ or music through a player or using noise reduction headphones.

Why is a Sensory Diet Important?
Similar to our need for a balanced food diet to keep our bodies healthy, we also require a balance of sensory information for our mind to remain in optimal condition. A sensory diet provides regular opportunities for a child with Autism to receive the stimulation they need to function.

A sensory diet can be established and then modified over time to keep up with the shift in the child’s sensory processing changes or environmental demands. As they learn to self-regulate their emotions and reactions, they develop important life skills such as empathy, concentration, generosity, and patience.

This enables a child to move from depending on others to becoming more independent and managing tasks or situations by themselves.

Treatment Options for Children with Autism
Although Autism cannot be cured, there are several methods of therapy that can help treat the symptoms and specific requirements of patients.

Currently, the best Autism treatment involves a holistic approach to ASD which includes one or more of the following:

  • Medications
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Occupational therapy intervention: sensory integration therapy, behavior retraining therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, social skills training
  • Speech Therapy

Parents are encouraged to seek medical help and support for both their children and themselves. With a little bit of patience and care, using a sensory diet can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for everyone involved.