Autism is a broad term that actually describes a wide spectrum of symptoms. A child with autism may be mostly nonverbal or they may be verbal but find communicating with others to be quite difficult. The range of speech in children diagnosed with autism is quite wide. Speech therapy can help children at both ends of the spectrum. A person with autism who is quite verbal may have a very difficult time comprehending the complex nuances within language. A nonverbal patient can learn to communicate without, or with limited speech, and with time may improve their spoken skill to a level where they can communicate with people more easily. [continue reading…]
There are two specialties that are experiencing rapid growth in the field of speech pathology, geriatrics and pediatrics. One of the reasons speech therapy for children is experiencing such rapid growth is because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act passed in 2004. This is a federal law that guarantees services to all children with disabilities who are eligible. The eligibility process requires an evaluation of the child by the appropriate authority. When a speech delay or impediment is a possibility, that authority is a speech therapist. With older children, a school official will typically be the one to initiate the evaluation process. But what about toddlers and children who are not yet in school? Usually, a pediatrician will notice something abnormal and write a prescription for an evaluation or the parent will request a screening because of concerns.
I remember being a child in school, seeing the other children that used to be picked up by school aides for speech therapy. I knew that they were leaving for speech, but I didn’t really know what that was or why it was necessary. I just knew that I wanted to go and that I was so jealous of those kids who got to leave class, regardless of why it was.