As many of you may already know, challenges with communication are one of the criteria that must be met for to reach a diagnosis of autism.
When we talk about communication challenges it can include the following:
Difficulties with understanding,
Difficulties using language to communicate with other people.
However, there is a wide range as to what communication skills may look like in an individual with autism.
Verbal and Non-verbal
We often hear of children with ASD being referred to as verbal or non verbal, and whilst some children may be very verbal and participate in full conversations, other may communicate completely without words (for example, using pictures, or through gestures or behaviours).
Some children with ASD will also use a combination of ways of communicating. No matter how a child communicates, there are many ways we can build on their strengths and interests in order to support and help further develop their communication skills.
Speech Language Services and children with ASD
Speech-Language Pathologists are often one of the first professionals to become involved with a young child showing possible signs of autism, as communication differences or delays are often one of the first signs noticed by parents/caregivers/educators. It is important to know that Speech-language Pathologists cannot diagnose autism, but can assist in helping support communication skill development even before a diagnosis is received, and can also help direct families to find the appropriate resources if they are looking to determine a diagnosis.
If you are concerned about your child’s communication skills and would like more information, call us at 519.751.0728 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a free consultation with our Speech Language Pathologist.