SLT or Language Disorder Therapy is defined as the discipline that deals with language education and re-education. The role of the speech therapist is to restore and stabilize the language, by differentiated application of specific techniques.
If in typical children, with disorders / delays in language development, the speech therapist uses basic speech therapy techniques and specific exercises to correct various problems, in children with autism, the approach involves certain stages, depending on the child's abilities and degree of impairment. In the case of children with autism spectrum disorders, communication and language are one of the major areas affected, the lack of speech being often the reason for parents to seek answers.
The scope of speech therapy includes both the development of expressive language (what the child says) and the development of receptive language (what the child understands). Expressive communication includes both vocal language and sign language. Moreover, writing and reading are also language skills.
In the speech therapy sessions several aspects must be taken into account:
• The child's accommodation period: the start of speech therapy should take into account the child's pace of learning and the stage of development he is at that time.
• Play: the child learns new skills through games, through exercises.
• Rewards: progress is continuously supported and encouraged, both by the therapist and by the parents / family at home, depending on the degree of impairment of the child (sometimes the emission of a single sound is a very big progress).
• Work environment: it is necessary to adapt to a new space and encourage therapies where the child feels best.
• Collaboration with parents and the face of therapists: a multidisciplinary team will have faster results.
Speech therapy does not give immediate results. The time allotted for speech therapy depends on the case. In general, the child with autism needs a longer period to correct / initiate language. Therefore, speech therapy stops when you consider that the little one has a language appropriate to his age. There is no specific period that guarantees his recovery.