Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Speech Language Therapy For Autism

Autism is classified as a neuro-developmental disorder which manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. Although the specific etiology of autism is unknown, researchers suspect that autism can result from genetically mediated vulnerabilities to environmental triggers. Though there is disagreement about the magnitude, nature, and mechanisms for such environmental factors, researchers have found around seven major genes prevalent among individuals diagnosed as autistic. It is estimated that autism occurs in as many as one United States child in 166 and thus it is a serious problem. This makes it important that autism is not neglected. Autism speech language therapy has been found effective for autism patients. Here�s all that you need to know about autism speech language therapy.

Knowing about autism speech language therapy -
The purpose of autism speech-language therapy is enhancing intentional communication via expression of ideas, obtaining desires, sharing information and interpersonal interaction. We must understand that language is the means by which communication is achieved.
Some components of language include :
�understanding/verbal expression
�facial/manual gestures
�tone of voice
�body orientation

In order to make use of language, knowledge of content (vocabulary, concepts), form (how words are linked into phrases/sentences) and use (what the child wants to express from using his/her language) is necessary. Therefore, autism speech language therapy has its focus around teaching the child what he or she needs rather than on the use of language for communication.

For a child who is not currently using words, language is possible through other means. A child can be taught to use various ways of utilizing their language skills to convey a meaning. These may consist of gestures/signaling, eye contact, vocalizations, facial expression, or manual tools such as communication pictures/boards/books.

Another aspect of autism speech language therapy is that oral-motor skills are also addressed. As proper structure and function of the oral areas is also necessary for speech and sound production, intervention to improve coordination, strength, movement and placement of the lips, tongue, jaw and cheeks (both internally and externally) is needed.

Thus in short, autism speech language therapy works upon autism patients to make their speech understandable. Autism speech language therapy helps the patients to express themselves better and to gain foothold in society and in their lives.

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