Speech-language therapy addresses challenges with language and communication. It can help people with autism improve their verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. The overall goal is to help the person communicate in more useful and functional ways.
Communication and speech-related challenges vary from person to person. Some individuals on the autism spectrum are not able to speak. Others love to talk, but have difficulty holding a conversation or understanding body language and facial expressions when talking with others.
A speech therapy program begins with an evaluation by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) to assess the person’s communication strengths and challenges. From this evaluation, the SLP creates individual goals for therapy.
Common goals may include improving spoken language, learning nonverbal skills such as signs or gestures, or learning to communicate using an alternative method (such as pictures or technology).