All parents eagerly anticipate the moment their baby speaks for the first time. Maybe you have a baby journal with a blank space to write down that first word and all the other milestones. Maybe you sit up and pay attention every time your child gurgles and babbles. Maybe you’ve been waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and you’re

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Claire Delano, BA

Difficulties with speech are not uncommon for children with autism. They may experience speech delays, childhood apraxia of speech, idiosyncratic speech, or be nonverbal into adulthood.  Another speech phenomenon sometimes found in people with autism is pressured speech. What causes this type of speaking, and what kind of treatment is available? Let’s take a look.

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Claire Delano, BA

People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a wide range of abilities when it comes to speech and language skills. High functioning individuals may be perfectly fluent, others struggle, and some may remain nonverbal and communicate through other methods.  For many children with ASD, a delay in language development is one of the first signs

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Claire Delano, BA

To build language skills, both verbal or nonverbal, it is beneficial to assess and understand the child’s ability. Verbal operants break down language into different elements which collectively help us communicate in our everyday lives. The term may sound strange but, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize we use verbal operants every day

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSC

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are characterized by communication impairments which may manifest in challenging behavior. Functional Communication Training may help your autistic child communicate wants and needs more effectively, decreasing the need for expression through such challenging behaviors.  Communication goes way beyond verbal and nonverbal interaction; even though this is what often comes to mind

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Suppose you’re in an active conversation, do you ever actively think of what to say? Do you ponder on what to say next and hope to the heavens that you won’t mess up? Are you aware of your body language? Or does the conversation flow naturally without you needing to think about it? For many

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSC

If your child is diagnosed with autism and has language processing difficulties, these may be one of the first symptoms you want to address with treatment or interventions. You quickly realize just how frustrated your child is, with meltdowns as a testament to unexpressed emotions. We can only try to understand how frustrating it must

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

A young woman with autism offers her perspective on what instances children should share with a trusted adult and what small infractions, if reported, could lead to being known as a “tattletale”. Hi, my name is Leanne, and I am a young adult who is on the autism spectrum (my diagnosis used to be known

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Leanne Strong

A child’s first word is a magical milestone. If there is a delay in the commencement of spoken language this milestone may become a minefield of stress for parents. According to research (Giacomo & Fombonne, 1998) a delay in the onset of spoken language is frequently the most worrying aspect expressed by parents of children

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

If your child with autism has difficulty understanding the context of a situation, visual supports and more specific versions of social stories may help, even if he/she is older. The other day in my middle school classroom, my student Luis, who is on the spectrum, was helping to practice taking inventory. Luis was tasked with

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Arlene Rosenzweig

The society we belong to shapes our lives and, most importantly, determines our communication: the meanings attached to words, objects, and issues surrounding our lives. The reverse is the case for people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). It is time we started according respect and noticeable considerations to this group of people, as

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Ayodeji Oyewale, MSc

So, your child has been in speech therapy for close to a year and little progress has been made. You’ve managed to get some “ma’s” and “pa’s” here and there, but apart from these word approximations, the journey to speaking seems like a long, winding road. You’re frustrated, and so is your child. You may

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Angeline Gormley SLP, MEd

“Much of the time, I feel like an anthropologist on Mars.” Dr. Temple Grandin made history when she spoke those profound words during an interview with the late Dr. Oliver Sacks. Parents observing their children with autism trying to communicate in a neurotypical world, may grasp the significance of her words. Communication is vital to

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Verbal Behavior Therapy is a communication theory that initiates language: like any other observable action, is a learned behavior that can be acquired, developed, and sustained by applying behavior strategies. Supporting language and communication development with verbal behavior strategies differs from other traditional language theories. Still, it shares the conventional goal of promoting more effective,

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Emily Ransom, MSE

An expert look at ways you can help your child with autism un-jumble the chaos of noise and language for better communication. Imagine for a moment, a laundry basket full of clean clothes straight from the dryer. Socks, shirts, undies, pajamas, and pants belonging to all members of the family are jumbled together. There is a

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Caroline Lee

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have trouble with communication skills such as understanding and interpreting language. Speech therapy is designed to improve all areas of communication in your child. It is thought that, the earlier that your child receives it, the greater the chances of improving his/her communication skills. One of the

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Autism Parenting Articles

You’ve noticed that your child isn’t speaking as fluently as other kids his/her own age. Maybe he/she hasn’t even said their first words. Could this delay in their speech development be a sign of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Not necessarily. While speech delays, language delays, and learning differences are often a hallmark of ASD, a speech

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Leanne Sherred, MS, CCC-SLP

Does facilitated communication have a place in the world of autism? The biggest debate has been over who is doing the communicating, the nonverbal individual, or the facilitator? Over the years, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of facilitated communication in nonverbal children with autism and other conditions.  This article will cover what facilitated

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Autism Parenting Articles

Many children on the autism spectrum use echolalia (repeating other people’s words and sentences) as a way of responding to direction, as well as expressing their wants and needs. Echolalia may be confusing for parents and neurotypical people but it need not be distressing. To explore the subject of echolalia and look at solutions for

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Elizabeth Ives Field, MEd, CCC-SLP

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often known colloquially as just “autism”, is a neurological condition present in kids from birth and usually detected in the first few years of life. For a child with ASD, their development manifests in different ways. Some tend to struggle with communicating and interacting with people, and the development of cognitive

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Michelle Lachman, MS, CCC-SLP

As a speech pathologist, I have come across families who swear by the impact of oral motor exercises on their child’s development and learning. While I have no doubt that there is truth in their statements (kids are remarkable), it is important to explore what the research says on the topic and to consider how

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Mallory Griffith, MA, CCC-SLP

Parents, I get it. You NEED a solution for when your non-verbal autistic child becomes frustrated resulting in a meltdown. As parents, we have to find ways to bring peace to the chaos. Sign language is an amazing tool to meet both your need as a parent and your child’s need to express themselves. Here

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Cynthia Long

I am a speech language pathologist who spends the bulk of my day coaching social skills with people on the spectrum. I say lovingly (my heart is BIG for neurodiverse communication) that I have been talked “at” more times than I can count in my office. I wish we could all talk about our interests

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Mallory Griffith, MA, CCC-SLP

There is not one day that goes by that my son, with high-functioning autism, opens my eyes to a new way of thinking, a different perspective.  He “gifts” me a fresh lens to view a familiar situation with a new interpretation. Yet, as intelligent as our children are, their cognitive wiring is mapped differently, and

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by JC Ellinger, MBA

American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most used foreign language in the United States. It ranks right behind Spanish and French, with approximately 2 million individuals in the United States utilizing it (Gallaudet University Library, 2016). How can this beautiful language be used to benefit the lives of children with autism? 1. Does Your

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Ron Malcolm, EdD

As a pediatrician, I have been taught that the developmental progress of a three to four-year-old should include well over 500 words and a child should be able to describe things and situations in a meaningful way. This milestone is one that all parents strive for as it is an important part of a child’s

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Professor May Ng, MBBS (Hons), FHEA, FRCPCH, MSc, LLM, PhD

It can be challenge sometimes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when it comes to meeting and communicating with other kids. Some children may experience serious attacks of anxiety, and these situations can be hard for everyone. There are several strategies to help develop and improve social skills for children with autism. Here are

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Paul Calderon

My little boy will sometimes call cookies ‘biscuits,’ and gasoline ‘petrol.’ He has lived in the Midwestern United States all eight years of his life, but that does not stop him from saying, “I CAHN’T!” when asked to complete a task, or requesting ‘pahn-cakes’ for breakfast. Greyson has no idea where England is, but he

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Abby Martin Fallis, BSEd

In all my years as a teacher and tutor, I have yet to see a frown or a tear shed by students in creating or reading comics. For those who work with children on the autism spectrum, the practice of creating comic strips with free comic generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com or even drawing them by hand

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Bill Zimmerman

As a practicing clinician specializing in the adult diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I have noticed that as the diagnosis of children impacted on the spectrum has dramatically increased (current statistic from the Centers for Disease Control is 1:55), the first time diagnostic rates for adults on the spectrum also continue to skyrocket, making

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Esther Hess, PhD

For years, I’ve been searching for a way to reconcile my passion for speech therapy and my addiction to earning new, vibrant stamps in my passport. I was reading a news article when I came across a non-governmental organization in Cambodia helping to make speech therapy available to those with communication difficulties. In Cambodia, speech

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Rachel Madel, SLP

As parents of children who are nonverbal or have limited speech, we have to learn some skills of our own to help them learn to communicate better. I have three children with autism myself who are all now extremely verbal, but when they were younger, communication was a constant struggle. Here are a few of

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Ginger Strivelli

The new school year can be a source of stress for many children and even more so for children with autism.  There are new people to meet, new routines to learn, and all the while having to navigate this real-world environment we call school.  Communicating with your child’s teacher is critical to your child’s success. 

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Sarah Kupferschmidt, MA, BCBA

My son, now 17, was diagnosed with Asperger’s at age 12, though we knew there was something “different” about him long before then.  I remember going to school for career day and seeing several kids in the hall excitedly greet my son, who just walked right by them without even acknowledging they had spoken to

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Christina Schwiess

Let’s go back to a moment when your child shared a story that was not his/her own and was disconnected from that present situation. Give yourself the luxury of a short daydream.  First, focus on your child’s adorable, precious face. Next, fill in the scene that you just imagined. Include your shared words or story

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Beth Ann Shanks, MS, CCC-SLP

Communication is the act of exchanging a message between two people, either vocally or non-vocally, and it begins at the very beginning stages of life.  At the first stages of communication, we may cry or babble in order to self-soothe or react to something unpleasant or exciting. Later, we may start to reach, point, or

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Shahrzad Pirnia Adler, BCBA

Molly was diagnosed with autism at age two. She was quiet—almost non-verbal—and did not play with other children. To communicate, she led her parents to what she wanted or needed. Molly also had severe tantrums and trouble maintaining a regular sleep pattern. She did not appear to be a typical two-year-old.  She seldom smiled or

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Cheri L. Florance, PhD

Over the past 17 years, our program, Kid Pan Alley, worked with more than 40,000 children writing songs in schools throughout the country.  Those kids have written more than 2,700 songs, some of which were recorded by top entertainers such as Delbert McClinton, Sissy Spacek, Amy Grant, Kix Brooks, Suzy Bogguss and more.  One was

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Paul Reisler

As a parent, a loving, emotional connection with your autism spectrum disorder (ASD) child is likely what you crave above all else.  Chances are that you feel robbed of this as a result of your child’s diagnosis. I know this feeling first-hand. My son (now 19) was diagnosed at the age of five after a

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Sue Simmons, CPC, RDIO

  It is amazing to watch the interaction between these two young, fun-loving adults.  Both are geniuses in their own way.  One is an artist. The other, a computer whiz.  And they both share a fantastic camaraderie.  They have a special connection and enjoy spending time with each other. They’re both blessed with a sense

Continue reading

in Communication Skills by Kamini Lakhani