Learning From Autism’s Past, and Presenting a Better Future
A mother’s first-hand account of the past, present and future of autism from her perspective.

Kristi Jacobsen

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Autism: Is There a Connection?
A diagnosis of autism is often followed, or preceded by, other diagnoses. This article explores a possible link with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

Rachel Andersen

Communication Problems and Children with Autism
Parents observing their children with autism trying to communicate in a neurotypical world, may grasp the different communication problems.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

How Our Speech Language Pathologist Helped My Child
A mother’s gratitude for the unexpected benefits of having a trusted and caring Speech Language Pathologist.
Dani DuBois, JD

Speech Therapy Exercises to Try with Your Child with Autism
Some pratical exercises you can try at home to improve your child’s speech development.
Emily Ansell Elfer, BA Hons, Dip

Echolalia Autism: Why Does My Child Repeat Me?
Many children on the autism spectrum use echolalia (repeating other people's words and sentences). But what does this mean?
Elizabeth Field, MEd, CCC-SLP

What is the Cycles Approach for Speech Therapy for Autism?
The Cycles Approach is a widely used speech therapy that can treat severe speech sound disorders. We unpack what it entails.
Donnesa McPherson

Autism and Hearing Loss: What’s the Link?
Take a closer look at the possible link between hearing loss and autism. What does the research say?

Rachel Andersen

Oral Motor Exercises for Children with Autism
Oral motor skills, in conjunction with other skills can have a significant impact on improving your child’s speech development.
Mallory Griffith, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech Therapy Materials for Autistic Kids
As a parent you have a tool, an expertise that puts you in position to supplement your child’s therapy at home.
Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

Can Autistic Children Have Cluttering Speech?
Cluttering isn’t as easy to identify and often goes undiagnosed.
Claire Delano, BA

Can Visualizing and Verbalizing® Help with Reading Comprehension?
Children with autism spectrum disorder, especially those who struggle to form mental images while reading, may benefit from this program.

Yolande Loftus, BA, LLB

What is Sound Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Sound therapy was created to help improve abnormal sound sensitivity for those diagnosed with different developmental disorders.

Donnesa McPherson

Facilitated Communication for Children with Autism
What is facilitated communication and how can it be beneficial for children with autism?

Emily Ansell Elfer, BA Hons, Dip

What is Idiosyncratic Speech? 
A child’s use of this language typically comes from individual experiences. But what does this mean?
Claire Delano, BA

What Assistive Technology for Speech and Language Disorders Are Available – And How Do They Work? 
Technology has opened up many options for parents and caregivers. We unpack the possibilities.

Donnesa McPherson

Five Steps to Secure Funded Support for your EBSNA Child 

Emotional-based school non-attendance can be expensive. An expert gives advice on how to secure funding.
Lucy Spencer

Part 2: “The A Word” 

This is Part 2 of a two-part narrative how a first-time mom responded to, reacted to, and accepted her baby had autism.

Taylor Milton

Autism Warrior: Tommy Marcketta

Meet an inspiring high school freshman who is an accomplished Special Olympics swimmer.

Tommy Marcketta

What's New On the Bookshelf?

Behaviour Skills for Parents, Teachers and Support People – A Focus on Autism.

Trevor Lewis

What's New On the Bookshelf?

Intelligent Love: The Story of Clara Park, Her Autistic Daughter, and the Myth of the Refrigerator Mother.

Marga Vicedo

Poetry Corner: What Does Autism Look Like?
A poem written from the perspective of being a parent to a child with autism.

Rebecca Vaughn

Dear Readers,

Depending on where you live, August may be a month for families to say their final “Farewell” to summer in anticipation of the upcoming school year. Or it might be the month when some schools actually begin, with children returning to new classrooms, teachers, and friends. In either scenario, we want our children to be able to share what they did over the break and what they hope to accomplish in the upcoming year. Being able to convey these ideas is so important. Our theme this month is “Speech and Language,” and for many children with autism, this can be a huge stumbling block for communication and socialization. This issue is filled with helpful explanations and reading material for parents, teachers, and anyone else who needs to understand more about the importance of this topic.

To begin, it’s helpful for parents to understand what some of the speech and language issues are, determining if their child is dealing with any or what they can do to help. If your child has echolalia, repeating the words and sentences they hear from others, check out “Echolalia Autism: Why Does My Child Repeat Me?” by Elizabeth Field. Perhaps your child uses words from their life experience in a nontraditional way to describe or ask for something that isn’t usually associated with that word. Or maybe they even make up words to communicate an idea. Claire Delano writes about this in her article, “What is Idiosyncratic Speech?

Once a child is diagnosed with speech and language deficits or difficulties, getting help is so important. Dani DuBois has written a personal narrative titled “How Our Speech Language Pathologist Helped My Child,” and Emily Ansell Elfer writes about “Speech Therapy Exercises to Try with Your Child with Autism.”
Sometimes oral motor skills, in conjunction with other tools and activities, can help strengthen and increase coordination of the muscles used for speaking and even eating. Mallory Griffith provides an insight into how these tasks can help in her article, “Oral Motor Exercises for Children with Autism.

Hopefully parents of school age children, with or without autism, have provided them with some learning experiences and exercises to prevent any backsliding during their time away from academia. Keeping up with reading is always important over the summer months, but for some children with autism, making those mental pictures as they read can be difficult. This can mean that while some children are able to read the words on a higher level, they may not always be able to comprehend what they read. Yolande Loftus asks and answers the question, “Can Visualizing and Verbalizing® Help with Reading Comprehension?

You and your child may have a few more days or several weeks to prepare for their return to school. We hope this issue is helpful in allowing you and others to know about and understand the importance of speech and language, in any form. As you begin to wind down with a return from a vacation adventure, a closing song around a campfire, or a final dip into a chilly lake or pool, I hope you share your experiences together in whatever way works best for you. Then store those memories for a future, unknown time. You never know when you will want to share about them again.

Happy reading!

Mark Blakey
Autism Parenting Magazine